Congressman Gibbs Statement on FARRM Bill Vote

July 11, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-7) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, which passed the House today by a vote count of 216-208:

“Although I have very significant concerns about some portions of the legislation, I have decided to cast my ‘yes’ vote on the farm bill today.  I believe we need to move the farm bill forward, and there are very negative consequences that come from either not passing any farm bill at all, or having to pass another extension of current policy.  My vote today helped move the bill to conference committee so that we may begin to work on differences with the Senate and also begin working on fixing some of the problems with the House bill. 

 “In particular, I am very much against the current bill’s handling of target prices and have made my concerns very publicly known.  The current target prices in H.R. 2642 are set too high, distorting the market and likely resulting in farmers receiving a government payout at a time of profitability.  It is not good agriculture policy to guarantee a set price with no relationship to yields and cost of production.  I believe farmers should be making decisions on what to plant based on market signals, not on which crop will give them the most government subsidy.  I fully support a farm bill that gives farmers and producers ways to mitigate their risk to continue to provide a safe and affordable food supply.

“I have received a personal commitment from the House Agriculture Committee Chairman that the issues surrounding target prices will be worked on and changed in conference committee.  I take the Chairman at his word and look forward to helping make positive changes to this bill throughout the conference process. – U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-7)