Sen. Mike Johanns says the failure by the House to approve a Farm Bill, puts the legislation in limbo.
Johanns had hoped the House would approve its version, which would trigger negotiations with the Senate. Defeat of the bill came unexpectedly, according to Johanns.
“I was surprised and I think it’s fair to say that all of us who watch farm policy closely were surprised by the House action, no doubt about it,” Johanns tells Kevin Thomas on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln.
The House defeated the measure 195-234. Too many Republicans voted against it, claiming it didn’t cut the food stamp program enough and too many Democrats objected, claiming it cut food stamps too deeply.
The Senate earlier passed its own version, which contained much smaller cuts to the food stamp program.
Johanns says the failure of the House to approve the legislation places the legislation in limbo, with the current Farm Bill set to expire in just a few months.
“We extended the last Farm Bill until the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30th,” Johanns says. “So, I don’t know, either the House does something or we’re going to be back talking about another year extension, which I think is a really bad idea. But, we’ve got to get something from the House.”
Negotiations between the two chambers cannot begin until the House approves a version of the measure.
Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Sen. Johanns discusses the Farm Bill defeat in the House with Drive Time Lincoln’s Kevin Thomas. [1:40]