2012 U.S. Farm Bill
|Nickname(s)||Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240), Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 (H.R. 6083), Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 954), Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (H.R. 1947)|
|Effective||Not yet passed and implemented|
The 2012 U.S. Farm Bill (S. 3240, H.R. 6083, S. 954, H.R. 1947, also known as the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013, and the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013) is a five-year agricultural policy omnibus bill. The bill authorizes, repeals, extends, and revises several aspects of U.S. agricultural policy and continues the United States' history of agricultural subsidy. The bill was initially introduced in the United States Senate on May 24, 2012 and passed by that body on June 21. After having been passed by the Senate, the bill was considered by the House of Representatives.
A full farm bill was not passed by the U.S. House by the end of 2012; however, an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill was passed in order to provide time to pass a full bill and prevent an increase in milk prices that may have resulted from the expiration of dairy subsidies under the 2008 bill. A version of the bill was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate on May 14, 2013, after which further consideration began.
The 2012 U.S. Farm Bill is the intended successor to the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, or the 2008 U.S. Farm Bill, which expired at the end of fiscal year 2012 on September 30, 2012. The bill enacts several reforms in U.S. agricultural policy, including the discontinuation of direct payments, the consolidation of several programs, a reduction in land conservation spending/farm subsidies by approximately $2 billion annually and, according to the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, aims to reduce the U.S. federal budget deficit by $23 billion.
The bill was initially introduced in the United States Senate as the "Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012" on May 24, 2012, after which the Senate began consideration of the bill and amendments in June 2012. On June 21, 2012, the bill was passed by the Senate by a 64–35 vote, after which it was passed to the House of Representatives for consideration. The House markup of the bill occurred on July 11, and the United States House Committee on Agriculture voted 35–11 to approve the bill as the "Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012," ordering it to be reported on the House floor.
Extension of 2008 Farm Bill
As of late November 2012, the bill had not yet been passed by the U.S. House due to a disagreement over Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program spending (with the House and Senate proposing approximately $10 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively, in cuts over ten years), raising the possibility of a short-term extension of agriculture legislation instead of passing a full farm bill or that the farm bill could be integrated into a plan to avoid the "Fiscal Cliff." It was uncertain whether Congress would complete and pass the bill during the lame duck session between the November elections and scheduled convening of the 113th United States Congress in January 2013. In late December 2012, with a farm bill yet to be passed, U.S. House Republican leaders suggested a short-term, 30-day version of a farm bill to prevent a projected increase in milk prices in January 2013. This suggestion drew criticism from both House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas, who advocated a long-term extension to provide time to pass a new bill in 2013, and Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson, who called the 30-day extension a "poor joke" on farmers.
As a new farm bill or an extension of previous agriculture policies was not passed prior to January 1, 2013, the Agricultural Act of 1949 mandated the United States Department of Agriculture to purchase dairy products at $38.54 per hundredweight, higher than the current price of approximately $18. A bill to extend 2008 Farm Bill provisions until the end of fiscal year 2013 on September 30, 2013, was drafted to prevent this and provide time to pass a full bill. On December 30, two days before dairy subsidies under the 2008 Farm Bill were set to expire, leaders of both the U.S. House agriculture committee and U.S. Senate agriculture committee announced that an agreement had been reached on this year-long extension of the previous farm bill until a full bill could be passed. This agreement to extend provisions the 2008 bill was included in a year-end compromise between Republicans and Democrats to avert the "Fiscal Cliff." If passed, the measure would prevent an immediate increase in milk prices; however, the extension of the 2008 bill delays reforms in the dairy support program that many farmers advocate in a new full bill. The package was passed by the U.S. Senate early January 1 by an 89–8 vote and by the U.S. House of Representatives later that day by a vote of 257–157; the package, and thus the temporary extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, was signed by President Barack Obama on January 2, 2013.
Legislation in 2013
In January 2013, following the commencement of the 113th Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had demonstrated an interest in reintroducing the 112th Congress Senate Farm Bill in the new Congress and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow openly supported Reid’s position. On May 14, 2013, a farm bill cleared the Senate agriculture committee by a 15–5 vote and the House agriculture committee was scheduled for a mark-up of its own bill the following day, May 15. Senate debate on the bill commenced following its introduction by Debbie Stabenow on May 14.
The Senate voted 59-33 for an amendment introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). The amendment would reduce crop insurance subsidies by 15 percent for the top 1 percent of U.S. wealthiest farmers, those with a gross annual income of more than $750,000.
The Senate passed the new farm bill by a vote of 66–27 on June 10, after which the House of Representatives rejected the bill, 195–234, on June 20. Funding cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program were also rejected by the House by a vote of 188–234.
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- "Senate passes five-year farm bill cutting subsidies for some". Fox News. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Hinton, Tamara (12 July 2012). "House Ag Committee Advances Farm Bill". U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "30-day farm bill called 'poor joke'". Politico. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- Doering, Christopher (30 December 2012). "Agriculture leaders reach deal on farm bill extension". USA Today. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- "S.954". Library of Congress. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012". U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "S.3240 - Major Actions". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Rogers, David (22 June 2012). "House punts agriculture bill". Politico. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
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- Rogers, David. "Fiscal cliff deal includes farm bill extension". Politico. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Sherman, Jake and Brown, Carrie Budoff (1 January 2013). "Crisis averted: Fiscal cliff bill clears Congress". Politico. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- Smith, Matt (3 January 2013). "Obama signs bill warding off fiscal cliff". CNN Politics. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Riske, Laura (30 January 2013). "Farm Bill a Top Priority for Senate Leader Harry Reid". The National Law Review. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Rogers, David (14 May 2013). "Farm bill clears Senate agriculture committee". Politico. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Cox, Ramsey (23 May 2013). "Senate votes 59-33 to reduce subsidies for the wealthiest farmers". Washington, DC: The Hill. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "At the trough: An awful farm bill faces opposition". Chicago: The Economist. 1 June 2013.
- Nixon, Ron (10 June 2013). "Senate Passes Farm Bill, House Vote Is Less Sure". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- Nixon, Ron (20 June 2013). "House Rejects Farm Bill as Food Stamp Cuts Prove Divisive". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- Full Text of S.3240 from the Library of Congress
- Full Text of H.R. 6083 from the Library of Congress
- H.R. 8, the bill to extend the 2008 Farm Bill among other things, from the Library of Congress
- Full Text of S.954 from the Library of Congress
- Full Text of H.R. 1947 from the Library of Congress
- Farm Bill Home Page from the House Agriculture Committee
- Farm Bill Home Page from the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee