Colorado Congressman Defends Discharge Decision

Colorado Representative Cory Gardner (whose district includes heavily agricultural Weld County) recently defended his refusal to sign the farm bill discharge petition in the House of Representatives.

Since July, the House has refused to hear debate on the farm bill or put the bill on the floor for a vote. Speaker of the House John Boehner claimed that he did not have the votes to pass the measure, but some political insiders believe that he was reluctant to upset fiscal conservatives going into the 2012 election.

In response to Boehner’s reluctance, rural representatives pushed for a discharge petition (which would bypass House leadership and put the farm bill up for a full floor vote). The discharge petition, which was signed by only 60 representatives (well short of the required 218), has landed some representatives in hot water with their constituents.

In Weld County, Cory Gardner is taking flak from some farm groups and from his Democratic challenger for his reluctance to sign the petition. According to Gardner, “the bill would not pass if the House took a vote on it right now. I want a new farm bill in the worst way to help our producers, but I’d hate to see us restart this process now if the House votes down a bill that we’ve put a lot of time into.”

Gardner’s challenger, however, is portraying his inaction as typical Washington politics. “I am beyond frustrated with Washington. Congress is holding our farms hostage in order to win political points. It’s irresponsible for Rep. Gardner and Congress to leave to go campaign without getting the job done,” State Senate President Brandon Shaffer said.

To learn more about Colorado farm loans and agricultural financing opportunities, contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer