Jan 29, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Washington, DC (January 29, 2014) – Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce voted for H.R. 2642, the Agricultural Act of 2014, commonly known as the Farm Bill. 

“We need the Farm Bill,” said Pearce.  “It protects New Mexico ranchers and farmers.  It provides for New Mexico families in need.  It supports our communities, teachers, and police. New Mexicans desperately need the solutions for nutritional and agricultural support in this legislation.  It is unfortunate that this has continually been stymied by politics.  The heritage and backbone of New Mexico is the agriculture industry that has continued to struggle due to droughts, fires, and failed federal programs from an outdated farm bill.

“SNAP is a vital support system for New Mexicans in need, but the program has been rife with fraud and abuse. While it does not go far enough, this bill begins to reduce fraud and abuse in the, ensuring it will be there for those who need it.

“The bill includes much-needed PILT funding.  This money will help our communities educate our children, keep our families safe, and continue to flourish.   

“New Mexico cannot stand without putting our families first. My vote is for them.”

Today’s bill is the Conference Committee version of the farm bill, meaning it is the product of committee negotiations between the House and the Senate on their respective versions of the farm bill.  The bill includes needed federal reform for the dairy industry, a five-year reauthorization of EQUIP funds and crop insurance, and a one-year extension of Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT Funding, for the State of New Mexico. 

The final bill also includes Congressman Pearce’s amendment on the lesser prairie chicken, requiring a study of the effectiveness of existing programs designed to protect both the species and local jobs.