Roby argues spenders won with defeat of farm bill, calls vote missed opportunity


U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, after the Republican-led House soundly defeated a new farm bill, said the vote was a “missed opportunity” to change the costly status quo and argued the spenders won as Republicans crossed over to vote with the Democratic minority to kill the bill, which slashed funding for food stamps.

Roby, a Montgomery Republican in her second term, and other conservatives pushed for reform of food stamps and other farm programs.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery

“The spenders won. They dodged a major reform to the unrestrained government spending policies left over from the Pelosi Congress,” said Roby, who argued in her first campaign in 2010 that her first vote would be to remove the gavel from the hands of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “For more than two years we’ve been working on a new farm bill that would meet this country’s agricultural and economic needs while enacting long-needed reforms to farm and food stamp policy. While not perfect, the farm bill that died today represents a missed opportunity to save taxpayers $40 billion through responsible improvements to current law.”

The House voted 195-234, according to USA Today, which reported that the bill failed to receive enough support because of the size of the cuts to the popular food stamp program.

The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, or FARRM Act, included the first major reforms in the food stamp program since the 1990s.

Roby supported measures in the bill that would have disallowed the federal and state governments from advertising the food stamp program and recruiting new members, reduced the amount of land in the Conservation Reserve Program that compensates landowners for not planting fertile land, and eliminated or consolidated more than 100 programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that she and others considered duplicative.

The Republican dominated House shot down the five-year farm bill after the House Agriculture Committee, which Roby serves on, approved the bill 36-10.

– posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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