Durbin Pressures House over Farm Bill

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is joining the chorus of voices pressuring the House to speedily pass the bipartisan farm bill approved by the U.S. Senate in May this year.

While the Senate spent much of 2012 inactive, by the beginning of the summer, lawmakers had developed enough momentum to quickly pass a bipartisan farm bill that cuts billions of dollars in spending while strengthening key crop insurance programs and protecting nutritional support to poor and needy families.

The House, however, has refused to pass this bill, preferring instead to write their own version of the agricultural legislation. While the House Agriculture Committee has passed a draft of the farm bill, House leadership has declined to vote on this bill, fearing potential election repercussions.

In response to this recalcitrance, farm organizations and lawmakers have criticized the House’s inactivity. Senator Durbin is the latest voice calling on the House to take action to help American farmers.

“Sadly, the House, under Republican leadership, has been unable to pass a farm bill and unwilling to call the bipartisan Senate farm bill. Because of that, they have split within their own caucus,” Durbin said. “They cannot come up with a majority based on Republican votes, and they refuse to sit down with the Democrats.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer