Congressional Coalition Pushes for Farm Bill

A bipartisan coalition of Senators recently sent an open letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, asking both men to strongly consider including a new five-year farm bill in the upcoming end of year Senate legislation.

For the past several months, the farm bill has been stalled in Congress. With the House refusing to bring the bill to a full floor vote and with Senators unlikely to accept the House Agriculture Committee’s massive food stamp spending cuts, the five-year farm legislation appears to be at an unbreakable impasse.

A group of twenty three Democrats and nine Republicans, representing nearly a third of the Senate, are pushing Senate leaders to attach the farm bill to the Senate’s fiscal cliff legislation. Doing so might not only break the logjam that has paralyzed the farm bill process, but may also make it easier for Congress to reach the mandated spending cuts.

Some food policy groups, like the Environmental Working Group, are pushing back against this solution, claiming that “At a time when our nation’s leaders are asking ordinary Americans to contribute to deficit reduction, it is simply shocking that same bill, the fiscal cliff bill, might even give more subsidies to farm millionaires and might further expose taxpayers to liability for farm payments.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer