Congressman Bob Gibbs and Senator Sherrod Brown Speak Out On Farm Bill

October 29, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-7) and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown released the following joint statement upon the commencement of the Senate-House conference committee for the 2013 Farm Bill:

“It seems to be a rarity these days when two members of Congress from different political parties are able to come together on an important issue such as the Farm Bill, but we have found common ground. We believe the farm bill conference must produce a bill that provides common sense, market-based resources that ensure economic stability for farmers and savings for taxpayers.”

Brown, a member of the Conference Committee and first Ohioan to serve on the Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years, and Gibbs, the first former state Farm Bureau President elected to Congress and a member of the House Agriculture Committee, outlined the following shared priorities for the Farm Bill Conference Committee:

Addressing the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Program through Title I of the Farm Bill:

The PLC program, created by the House bill, would undermine provisions of the Senate-passed bill that tie farm payments to planted acres, instead of the historic base acre calculation.

“PLC could create inverse incentives for farmers to plant for the program instead of listening to the market,” Brown and Gibbs continued. “This proposal would drive farmers to overplant the crop that would give the highest guaranteed price. We want a Farm Bill that will provide farmers with the risk management tools they need without distorting market forces.”

Many outside organizations have voiced their concerns over Title I. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the National Foreign Trade Council sent a letter to leaders of the Agriculture Committee to express their concern over using planted acres and the effect it would have on taxpayers and trade. The American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Sunflower Association, and the U.S. Canola Association also sent a letter expressing concern that the PLC program would remove farmer flexibility and distort planting decisions.

Ensuring Strong Rural Communities and Economic Development through Title VII of the Farm Bill:

Brown and Gibbs believe that the farm bill must invest in rural development and economic growth. Title VII of the farm bill provides Ohio’s rural communities with resources to invest in infrastructure, small businesses, and local job creation efforts.

“We must pass a pro-growth farm bill that strengthens rural communities and ensures that they have the infrastructure and resources needed to create jobs and attract new economic development,” Brown and Gibbs concluded.