Washington (Dec. 14, 2007)—Farmers and ranchers today applauded as the Senate passed the 2007 farm bill by a bipartisan vote of 79 to 14.
“Wheat growers have been waiting for this day for a long time,” explained John Thaemert, a Kansas wheat farmer and president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “I was extremely happy to see the Senate reject a number of unfriendly amendments and finally pass a farm bill Friday maintaining the direct payment and including supplemental assistance for producers facing disasters.”
The final package passed by the Senate did include a number of reforms to close loopholes and make federal farm benefits 100 percent transparent. The bill also transferred funds from the commodity title to other priorities such as nutrition, conservation, and alternative energy programs.
The House of Representatives passed a bill with similar farm policies in July. Representatives from the House and Senate will now meet to reconcile differences between the two farm bills. Then the farm bill will head to the White House, where farmers hope the President will quickly sign it into law.
“We urge the House and Senate to begin conference negotiations as quickly as possible to ensure a new bill is in place early next year to provide the predictability and stability of long-term farm policy,” USA Rice Producers’ Group Chairman Paul T. Combs said.