Larsen Statement on House Farm Bill

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted down H.R. 1947, the House version of the 2013 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill sets agricultural and food policy.

“The Farm Bill sets important policy that helps farmers in the Pacific Northwest and is a lifeline for working class Americans who need help to buy food,” Larsen said. “Unfortunately House Republicans loaded the bill with cuts to food assistance and harmful dairy policy, and I must oppose the overall bill.

“I am disappointed Republicans chose to cut $20 billion from the food stamp program, which would have ended food assistance for 2 million people and ended free school lunch and breakfast for 210,000 kids. We cannot balance the budget on the back of the neediest Americans who depend on food stamps to put food on the table for their families.

“The House’s vote to kill the Dairy Security Act is a short-sighted decision that will hurt dairy farmers and families in Northwest Washington. The Dairy Security Act will help keep milk prices stable, and I will work to include it in the next version of the Farm Bill.

“I applaud Rep. DelBene’s work to expand support for specialty crops that will benefit farmers of fruits, vegetables and berries in Northwest Washington. These provisions help make our crops competitive, and they should be included in the Farm Bill.

“I also appreciate the bill authors’ efforts to cut direct subsidies to large factory farms that don’t need help. These subsidies inflate our deficit and do not help consumers. I hope we can preserve and expand these reforms as Congress continues debating the Farm Bill.

“I am pleased the House rejected this partisan version of the Farm Bill. House leaders should strip the divisive provisions and let the House consider a bipartisan bill.”

Larsen is leading the Washington delegation to the international air show on behalf of Gov. Jay Inslee and will miss votes in the House of Representatives this week. He is posting his positions on House votes on this webpage