Farm Bill Failure Used in Midwest House Races

The failure of the House of Representatives to pass the 2012 Farm Bill (or temporarily extend the 2007 Farm Bill) is being used as campaign fodder in a number of close House races across the Midwest.

The past few months have seen the agricultural community across the country take something of a beating. Ecologically, an ongoing drought crippled production and ruined crops, driving down the profits of many farmers nationwide. In Congress, the House failed to pass the 2012 Farm Bill (despite, some representatives say, overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle).

In House races across the Midwest and across rural America, Democrats are using the farm bill debacle against their Republican opponents. In western Iowa, for example, incumbent Congressman Steve King is facing a challenge by Christie Vilsack, the wife of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. While the Iowa Farm Bureau has endorsed King, some residents have reported widespread discontent with the failure of the House to pass a new bill.

Democrats are hoping to capitalize on this discontent in the Midwest and beyond. In Iowa, South, Dakota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Colorado, Democrats running for the House are centering their campaigns on the farm bill and the issues facing rural voters. In Montana and North Dakota, Democrats running for Senate seats are using the failure of the farm bill against their opponents (both of whom currently sit in the House).

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer