Wednesday January 29, 2014 Contact: Adam Buckalew (202) 225-5031 HOUSE PASSES FARM BILL WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) voted in favor of a bill today that sets the course for farm policy and food programs for the next five years, saving taxpayers $16.6 billion relative to current law. "Agriculture is Mississippi's number one industry and the backbone of America's economy," said Harper, a third-term lawmaker from the Magnolia State. "This agreement gives our farmers, ranchers, and consumers the stability they need and deserve." The House-Senate agreement, formally known as the "Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2014," eliminates or consolidates roughly 100 U.S. Department of Agriculture programs and reforms food stamps for the first time since the mid-1990s, all the while maintaining assistance for families in need. Direct payments to farmers seeking aid following significant crop losses have been updated to pay out of existing insurance funds. Taxpayer protections are also strengthened by encouraging an inclusive public-private partnership that makes sure farmers invest in their own risk management. Lawmakers adjusted eligibility standards for food assistance programs, including the launch of a 10-state pilot program to help able-bodied adults take part in work. Rules are also improved to clarify that lottery winners and undocumented immigrants cannot receive benefits. "This bill represents the most significant savings in agriculture programs in our nation's history," added Harper. "Because of the conservative leadership of Senator Thad Cochran , Americans will experience the benefits of a farm bill that helps farmers and reflects the values of the Mississippians we serve in Congress ." Additional reforms include the consolidation of duplicative conservation programs and elimination overlapping reporting requirements, among other consumer reliefs. The bill now advances to the Senate , where the chamber is expected to consider the agreement soon. Gregg Harper is a third-term Republican lawmaker from Mississippi . harper.house.gov (202) 225-5031 307 Cannon HOB Washington, DC 20515
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