The House of Representatives rejected the 2013 Farm Bill with a vote of 195-234. The defeat of the $940 billion bill raises questions about the future of farm programs as it was not immediately clear what would be the next steps forward.
United Fresh is disappointed that the Farm Bill was rejected by the House, and will continue to evaluate the best path forward to ensure continued support for critical specialty crop programs. “We felt we had a very strong bill for specialty crops that was supported by members from both sides of the aisle,” says Robert Guenther, United Fresh senior vice president of public policy. “We strongly encourage the House Leadership and the House Agriculture Committee to get back together and bring back to the House floor a bill that can pass before the current extension expires at the end of September.”
As a member of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, United worked closely with both the House and the Senate and produce industry stakeholders to secure support for several programs of particular importance to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry, including essential research, pest and disease mitigation, trade, nutrition, and other programs.