Congress Playing Politics with Farm Bill

According to Louisiana’s Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, Congress is playing politics with the farm bill and both the Democrats and Republicans in Washington are responsible for the gridlock currently holding up the farm bill.

For the last several months, the 2012 Farm Bill has dominated rural news. In May, the Senate passed their version of the bill, putting the fate of the vital legislation in the hands of the House of Representatives. While the House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the bill, House leadership refused to take action, keeping the bill off the House floor.

Strain, a Republican, has been equally critical of the Democratic controlled Senate and the Republican controlled House. While he criticized the Senate farm bill for disproportionately benefiting Midwestern corn farmers at the expense of Southern commodity growers, he was also critical of the House’s unwillingness to bring the bill to a floor vote.

“We need a compromise,” Strain said. “It would be as difficult now to pass a one-year extension as it would be to pass a new bill. . . I don’t think you will see a new farm bill pass until we see the lame duck session of Congress after November 6 elections, and possibly not until December. This thing is caught up in politics on both sides.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer