Farm Bill Pressure Cuts Across Party Lines

Agricultural policy experts on both sides of the political aisle are joining the mounting criticism of Congress for delaying passage of the 2012 Farm Bill.

For the past year, increasing pressure has been placed on Congress to pass a new farm bill and for the past year, congressional inactivity and partisan bickering has delayed the passage of vital farm legislation. Rather than putting aside their differences and working to create a bipartisan piece of legislation to help the agricultural community, Congress has sought to use the farm bill debate to advance a variety of political agendas (ranging from cutting welfare programs to promoting green energy).

Kansas State University agricultural policy expert Barry Flinchbaugh and former Texas Democratic Representative Charlie Stenholm recently held a panel at the annual Ag Media Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The main theme of the Ag Summit was the irresponsibility of Congress’s inaction on the farm bill. Refusing to pass new agricultural legislation could lead to economic uncertainty and could undermine the strength of the farm sector.

“Ag has been the one bright spot of the economy because agriculture had a farm bill it could work with. No longer true,” Flinchbaugh said, adding, “Great uncertainty is happening in the midst of a Great Depression-like drought.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer