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Perry Rejects Rush to Pass Farm Bill

‘Let’s get it right’

Washington, May 21, 2018
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Scott Perry voted against the Farm Bill given the lack of necessary reforms.

“This Farm Bill doesn’t do enough to reform the failed sugar policy that is costing Central Pennsylvanians manufacturing jobs. It also doesn’t include reforms to help curb costs to taxpayers, while still ensuring that our smallest family farms get the help they need. We can and need to do better,” said Perry.

The Farm Bill was enacted in response to the Great Depression in the 1930s, and renewed periodically over the last century, most recently in 2013. The proposals initially were designed to help America’s struggling farmers; however, the unintended consequences of many of these policies are inflated prices throughout the agriculture industry - at the expense of the American taxpayer, the environment and family farmers. Many of the proposals make it harder for smaller farmers to compete with big corporations, and increase food costs for consumers as well as food manufacturers.

On Friday, the most recent 5-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill failed to pass the House, with 198 Members supporting the bill and 213 against it. Opposition to the legislation was bipartisan.

I supported an amendment that made desperately needed, modest reforms to the sugar program, bringing this industry more in line with the free market. To the detriment of Central Pennsylvania, the amendment failed,” said Perry.

The current sugar program imposes up to $4 billion per year in economic losses to the United States. The sugar industry employs 29,000 Americans (8 in Pennsylvania), whereas sugar-USING industries employ 600,000 Americans - 40,000 of whom are Pennsylvanians.

“Like any of these big proposals, we want to get them done early, but more importantly, we need to get them right. We now have more time to reach an agreement that isn’t rushed, or done simply for the sake of saying we got something done."

Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan also voted against the proposal, giving him the procedural ability to call it back up for another vote.

Most programs contained in the Farm Bill must be reauthorized by October 1. 
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