Press release from U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows’ office, shared Jan. 29 (link added by Carolina Public Press):
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11) released the following statement after the House passed the final conference agreement to H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013.
“This Farm Bill is the first significant reform to mandatory spending in more than three years, estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to save our nation more than $16 billion over 10 years,” Meadows said. “Though I encouraged House leadership and the House Agriculture Committee to include more conservative reforms, I do believe this bill is a step in the right direction. The people of the 11th District agree, as constituents polled prior to the vote supported passage of this legislation three to one.
“While closing loopholes in the food stamp program to save $8 billion, the bill also eliminates or consolidates more than 100 U.S. Department of Agriculture programs and replaces outdated direct subsidies for farmers with a strengthened crop insurance program. Of particular importance to Western North Carolina, it also reauthorizes PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) through 2014. Knowing that PILT impacts every county in my district, I went directly to Speaker Boehner and asked him to reauthorize this program when it recently expired. He followed through on my request by including PILT in this legislation, and these annual payments will go out as scheduled in June.
“Our nation must prioritize both national security and food security. Undermining the American farmer and becoming dependent on foreign sources of food can be as dangerous as depending on foreign countries for oil. I will continue to work toward incorporating conservative reforms to our nation’s agriculture and nutrition policy while ensuring that our farmers receive the long-term certainty they deserve.”
H.R. 2642 passed the House in a vote of 251–166.