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North FL Commissioner, Agriculture Worker Condemns Southerland For Torpedoing Farm Bill with “Partisan Poison Pill”

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TALLAHASSEE, FL – Congressman Steve Southerland ran for office saying he’d change Washington, but time and time again the Congressman shows his constituents that he puts DC politics ahead of North Florida families. 

That’s why today, Jackson County Commissioner, agriculture worker and North Florida resident Jeremy Branch held a press call condemning Congressman Southerland for torpedoing the farm Bill by introducing a last minute amendment that Time Magazine called the “partisan poison pill” which destroyed bipartisan support at a key moment.

“Congressman Southerland claimed he’d change Washington but he keeps showing that he’s everything folks hate about Congress,” said Jackson County Commissioner and agriculture worker Jeremy Branch. “Exposing hardworking farmers and our families to the type of risk and harm that exists without a Farm Bill just isn’t in touch with the values of north Florida families. And by working to torpedo the Farm Bill, Congressman Southerland showed us once again that he’s part of the broken, dysfunctional politics of Congress that only serves to divide us, while fixing no problems at all.”

 

A recording of the call is available upon request.

 

BACKGROUND:

Time: Southerland’s Amendment a “Partisan Poison Pill” to the Farm Bill.  “At 1:22 p.m., the Southerland amendment was approved in a near-part-line vote, 227 to 198. Only one Democrat went for the amendment, and only six Republicans went against. It was a partisan poison pill, the last amendment of the day. And it was enough to kill the measure.” [Time, 6/21/13]

Sunshine State News: House Republicans Blame Southerland For Losing Farm Bill.  “Some disappointed House Republicans are blaming Florida colleague Steve Southerland for losing 195-234, a five-year farm bill leadership badly wanted.” [Sunshine State News, 6/20/13]

Failure of Farm Bill “Raises Grim Prospects” For Florida’s Farmers.  “The U.S. House of Representatives rejected the Farm Bill Thursday; the bill’s failure has serious ramifications for Florida’s farmers. Agriculture is Florida’s second largest industry. According to Janell Hendren of the Florida Farm Bureau it’s worth over $100 billion. A tenth of that economic output comes thanks to the Florida citrus industry.” [WFSU, 6/21/13]

Farmers Left “Unable to Plan” In Wake of Farm Bill’s Failure. “Many farm programs, including direct payments and crop insurance, will remain in place through Sept. 30, thanks to an extension measure passed by Congress to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ this year. But several farmers, ranchers and dairy producers said the failure of the farm bill had left them unable to plan as the planting season approached and that some programs, like disaster assistance for livestock producers, remained unfinanced.” [New York Times, 6/21/13]