Congress Fails to Pass Farm Relief

With the House of Representatives leaving for their August recess, congressional leaders are heading to their home districts without taking action on a farm relief bill.

For the past few months, pressure has mounted on the House to pass the 2012 Farm Bill. After months of inactivity, the Senate passed a version of the farm bill eliminating controversial direct payment subsidies in exchange for strengthened crop insurance programs. While the House Agriculture Committee has passed its own draft of the farm bill, the full House has not taken up the legislation, preferring instead to focus on an extension of the current farm bill.

The need to pass a new farm bill, or farm relief bill, has only intensified as national drought conditions worsen.

When efforts to pass a farm bill extension failed, the House turned to passing a drought aid bill in order to support the struggling agricultural community. Earlier this week the House passed a $383 million relief package (consisting of loans and grants) in a relatively close 223 to 197 vote.

The Senate, however, citing the last minute nature of the House bill, refused to take it up, preferring instead to work with House leaders during the recess to pass the five-year farm bill when Congress reconvenes in September.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer