Vilsack Continues Fight for Farm Bill

With the 2013 Farm Bill stalled in the Senate, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is continuing his increasingly quixotic campaign to pressure a dysfunctional Congress to pass vital farm legislation.
The 2013 Farm Bill began its path through Congress on an optimistic note. After the failure of the 2012 bill, politicians on both sides of the aisle pledged to speedily move the 2013 bill though both houses, promising farmers that they would do everything in their power to protect the agricultural industry.
Partisan politics, however, once again managed to derail a farm bill compromise. In the House, Democrats angry at deep food stamp cuts joined Republicans angry that cuts did not go far enough to defeat the bill. While Republicans managed to pass a farm bill divorced from food stamps and nutritional subsides, it will almost certainly fail in the Senate. After months of progress, farmers are essentially back to square one.
While Senators and Representatives debate passing yet another temporary extension of the current farm bill, Secretary Vilsack is touring the country criticizing this plan
“The challenge and the risk of not getting it done this year is that you’re not likely to get it done in an election year, as we saw in 2012,” he said, “and then if you don’t get it done in the election year, then you have a new Congress.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer