House Passes Farm Bill Conference Report; NADO Joins Letter Urging Final Passage

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by NADO Admin

On January 29, the House of Representatives passed the farm bill reauthorization conference report (H.R. 2642) by a vote of 251 to 166 (http://clerk NULL.house NULL.gov/evs/2014/roll031 NULL.xml).  The bill reauthorizes U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (http://www NULL.usda NULL.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome) programs through 2018 at $100 billion a year with cuts of $2.3 billion per year from current spending levels. Additionally, the final agreement cuts the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) by $8 billion over 10 years.  The Senate farm bill (S. 954) proposed $4.5 billion in cuts over 10 years; the House farm bill (H.R. 2642) proposed $40 billion in cuts over 10 years.  The bipartisan conference report contains several provisions in the Rural Development title championed by NADO. Final passage of the bill is expected by the Senate early next week and the President has indicated that he will sign it into law. Click here (http://docs NULL.house NULL.gov/billsthisweek/20140127/CRPT-113hrpt-HR2642 NULL.pdf) to view a final copy of the farm bill.

NADO, as part of the Campaign for Renewed Rural Development (http://renewedrural NULL.org/) (CRRD), sent a letter supporting the farm bill reauthorization conference report to members of Congress.  Click here to view a copy of the letter.

Key NADO Provisions in Farm Bill Conference Report (Title VI Rural Development):

The Rural Development title will receive $228 million in mandatory funding over five-years including:

$150 million for Water and Waste Water Program
$63 million for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program
$15 million for the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program (RMAP)
$150 million for pending rural development loan and grant applications/projects

The Rural Development title reauthorizes the following federal-state regional commissions:

Delta Regional Authority
Northern Border Regional Commission
Northern Great Plains Regional Authority
Southeast Crescent Regional Commission

The Rural Development title includes regional and economic development language championed by NADO that allows USDA to prioritize 10 percent of funds towards regional, multi-jurisdictional projects that incorporate existing economic and regional development plans.

The Rural Development title includes a provision allowing USDA to streamline and broaden Rural Development applications to reflect the scale of rural investments, emerging needs and opportunities of rural regions, and capacity of local organizations.

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