Members of Congress returned from their districts last week, many of them with a message from the farmers back home to get a Farm Bill passed now. However, Speaker Boehner has yet to allow the bipartisan bill that passed in the House Agriculture Committee time to be debated on the House floor.
Factions of the House still want to see significant cuts in the food stamps line item. Analysts indicate that waiting for cuts doesn’t seem to make sense because if the current bill is allowed to run out, food stamp programs continue without change while farm program baseline budgets expire and farmers ultimately lose.
In a Politico interview, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said, ““This is just absolutely unacceptable. In my time here—and this is my fourth farm bill—I have never seen a situation where a bipartisan bill came out of committee and was not taken up on the floor.”
“It’s very clear that farm country is overwhelmingly saying: just get the job done. The House should take the precious few days they have in session and act.”
“Just as every farmer and rancher has to get in the morning and do the job in front of them and not delay it, this is our job.”
Today, President of the National Corn Growers Association and Auburn, IL farmer Garry Niemeyer said, “I came out here and got off my combine so I could do what we need to do, and that’s go tell congress: Do your job! We need a Farm Bill NOW!”
Watch for important opportunities for action in the next seven days. The agricultural community must work together to send a message to Washington, DC that we need a FARM BILL NOW!