Washington — The Farm Bill passed in the House with a 216-208 vote — the measure does not include the food stamp program.
The GOP-lead House failed to approve a Farm Bill in June as a result of last-minute debate about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The newest version instead focuses on commodity programs, including sugar, which are permanent under the bill, instead of up for renewal every five years. The Senate, however, has yet to approve the House version and passed its own bill in June that does include SNAP.
If the House and Senate fail to compromise on a joint legislation, the current Farm Bill will be extended until next year — an outcome the NCA says it hopes for, as it would present another chance to introduce sugar reform in 2014. In the past, failure to pass a Farm Bill would mean reversion to 1949 price levels, a component that is not included in the House's bill.
The NCA says about Congress failing to pass a sugar reform amendment: “This year we achieved closer votes in favor of sugar reform in both bodies of Congress than at any time in the past 30 years. It's only a matter of time before we prevail. At this point, the best case scenario for near-term sugar reform is that a compromise between the House and Senate falls short.”