With a 316 to 108 vote, the House of Representatives exceeded the two-thirds majority vote necessary to override President Bush’s veto of H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The Senate is expected to follow suit in the near future.
“We are gratified that the farm bill received bipartisan support from the House,” said National Corn Growers Association President Ron Litterer. “This is a bill that producers have needed for some time.”
Earlier today, more than 1,000 state and national organizations, ranging from commodity organizations to community and conservation groups, urged members of the House and Senate to support the farm bill and override the president’s veto.
“Communities across the nation, from urban to rural, have waited too long for this legislation,” the letter stated. “The conference report makes significant farm policy reforms, protects the safety net for all of America’s food producers, addresses important infrastructure needs for specialty crops, increases funding to feed our nation’s poor, and enhances support for important conservation initiatives.”
The farm bill conference report, with the inclusion of the optional Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program, significantly reforms how U.S. commodity programs operate by better addressing the volatility that growers face in the marketplace. ACRE was modeled after legislation introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) last fall.
The letter continued: “This is by no means a perfect piece of legislation, and none of our organizations achieved everything we had individually requested. However, it is a carefully balanced compromise of policy priorities that has broad support among organizations representing the nation’s agriculture, conservation, and nutrition interests.”
NCGA is optimistic that support in the Senate will remain steadfast to help ensure the bill is enacted into law. NCGA looks forward to working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its implementation of the bill’s new programs and provisions.