This blog post is the fifth in our series on how we can build a better Farm Bill.
UPDATE: The House is expected to reconsider the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) on or before June 22. The House’s Bill is bad for children and low income families; bad for farmers and rural communities; and harms rather than protects the environment in a number of ways.
This is the same awful bill, and it is should not be the version that goes to conference with the much better though not perfect, bipartisan version of the bill that just passed out of the Senate Ag Committee. (The Senate Bill is expected to go to the Senate floor as soon as June 25).
The House is pressed to get moving as it has a deadline of June 22 to reconsider the bill they earlier defeated. The Agriculture Committees on both sides are anxious to complete action before the July 4 recess in order to allow time for the House-Senate conference necessary to produce a final bill before Congress recesses in late summer.
However, passing a bad House bill is not the solution to the timing crisis.
Need A Quick Reminder of Why the House Bill is Bad for People, Farmers, Equity?
In a prior blogpost, we highlighted some of the worst elements of the entirely partisan House Farm Bill, HR 2, that was defeated as the members of the House fought over how to pass immigration legislation, a fight that still continues with more floor votes also scheduled this week.
In short, HR 2 would deprive more than 2 million low income Americans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) of food, thus contributing to large-scale poverty and hunger in communities across the U.S.
Among many other things that do harm rather than good, this Bill also slashes programs for conservation, and rural development; freezes or cuts equity programs for historically underserved and new entry farmers and ranchers; and includes riders that would gut federal rules to expand protection of clean water. (See our prior post for more information.)
What can I do today? Join nationwide call-in to defeat House Farm Bill
TODAY, Rural Coalition calls on you to continue work with our sustainable agriculture allies, and the networks of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), Feeding America, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, + more to continue generating calls to your House members. Here is how:
Call in urge your representatives to “Vote No” on H.R. 2!
Call 1-888-398-8702 and enter your zip code to connect with your Representative. (This toll free number is sponsored by Feeding America.)
Urge your representative to “Vote No” on H.R. 2.
Briefly tell them why: “This is a bad bill for families as well as for family farmers. The farm bill should protect families, family farmers including historically underserved farmers, the environment and economic development for rural areas. This bill fails to do that.”
Tweet! Click here: House #FarmBill would increase hunger for millions of struggling people warns @fractweets: http://bit.ly/2qu62fs. @HouseFloor should Vote NO on H.R. 2!
What’s next? Time to Make a Better Farm Bill!
We’ll know more on Senate farm bill actions later this week. Stay tuned!