Farm Bill Priority in 2013

According to Speaker of the House John Boehner, the farm bill will be a major priority for the House in 2013. Boehner’s statements, delivered at a meeting of the Ohio Farm Bureau, have left some farmers cautiously optimistic about the possibility of new farm legislation passing this year.

For most of last year, Congress was mired in the grip of partisan gridlock, unable to pass even the most noncontroversial legislation. The 2012 Farm Bill remains a major example of this partisan paralysis. While the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate both offered versions of the farm bill that cut spending, the GOP leadership in the House, unwilling to risk offending its conservative base, refused to hold a vote, allowing the bill to die in committee.

With 2013’s legislative agenda apparently dominated by budget fights and sequestration cuts, many farmers have been unconvinced that Congress could be bothered to act in their best interest.

Speaker Boehner’s recent meeting with the Ohio Farm Bureau was designed to allay some of these fears and convince farmers that he and the House are still supportive.

“We had a really tough time last year trying to get to the farm bill,” he said. “We are going to do a farm bill and I expect the Senate will do a farm bill as well.” While he did hint that the House was going to address the farm bill, Boehner refused to offer specifics.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer