Congressional members have left town until after the elections without passing the 2012 Farm Bill. The House of Representatives Republican leadership decided not to bring the bill to the floor indicating their concern was the bill did not have enough votes to pass.
Congressional members have left town until after the elections without passing the 2012 Farm Bill. The House of Representatives Republican leadership decided not to bring the bill to the floor indicating their concern was the bill did not have enough votes to pass. The Republican leadership floated the idea of a three-month extension of the current farm bill, but they did not find enough support among Republican members. Speaker of the House John Boehner noted that Congress will “deal with the Farm Bill after the election.” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “In a year that has brought its share of challenges to America's farmers and ranchers, the House Republicans have added new uncertainty for rural America. Unfortunately, House Republicans left Washington without passing comprehensive, multi-year food, farm and jobs legislation, leaving thousands of farming families exposed. U.S. agriculture is fighting to maintain the tremendous momentum it has built over the past three years, but with natural disasters and other external forces threatening livelihoods of our farmers and ranchers, certainty is more important than ever. Americans deserve a food, farm and jobs bill that reforms the safety net for producers in times of need, promotes the bio-based economy, conserves our natural resources, strengthens rural communities, promotes job growth in rural America, and supports food assistance to low-income families. Without the certainty of a multi-year bill, rural communities are being asked to shoulder undue burdens.” Agricultural organizations continue to press the House to pass a five-year farm bill. Their concern is if the bill is delayed until next year, the cuts in the farm bill are expected to be much greater than what is currently proposed. The current farm bill will expire on Sept. 30.