Congressman Adrian Smith remains optimistic a new Farm Bill can pass Congress this year, despite its failure on the floor last week.
“The failure on Friday, coming up short on the votes, was very disappointing,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It seemed to be preventable in my mind. But, moving forward, I think that we will have another opportunity here pretty quickly to vote on the Farm Bill. I think we will get it done.”
The bill failed on a 198-to-213 vote.
Smith lists a number of reasons why the Farm Bill failed in the House, including a group of House Republicans holding out for a vote on immigration first.
“Hard to tell if they would have been a ‘yes’ on the bill otherwise,” Smith says. “It was quite a mixture of folks voting no. Certainly, not a single Democrat voted yes. This is a very reasonable bill.”
Smith is disappointed no Democrats voted for the bill.
“They saw the work requirements with SNAP and food stamps as a deal-breaker and that’s unfortunate because we have millions of people on the sidelines right now, the sidelines of our economy, and I don’t think we should just think that’s where they are and that’s where they will always be,” Smith says. “Let’s engage them economically. Let’s really focus on self-sufficiency.”
Smith says the Farm Bill is very strong on crop insurance and conservation measures. He calls the work requirements for food stamps very reasonable.
Smith says some absences in the House also doomed the bill. He still believes the House and Senate will hammer out a compromise and send it to the president by the end of September.