Farm Bill Standoff Looms

With the 2012 election just a few days away and with Congress preparing to return to Washington for its lame duck session, legislators are preparing to tackle one of the most daunting tasks remaining in 2012; the farm bill.

Despite spending their summer months pushing Congress, farm advocacy groups were unable to convince reluctant Representatives to take action on vital farm legislation. While the Senate passed their version of the farm bill, the House of Representatives refused to vote on it, preferring instead to wait until after the 2012 election.

While Speaker of the House John Boehner claimed that he did not have the necessary votes to pass the bill, some GOP insiders have argued that he was more concerned with politics. According to one Republican congressional aide, “Among top House Republicans, I think there was concern about President Obama being able to sign a farm bill in the middle of an Iowa corn field.”

While many farm groups had hoped that legislators would use the fall recess to engage in serious discussion with rural constituents, this hope has not materialized. According to one Farm Bureau official, “We certainly had our hopes that there would be some kind of discussion going on, but reality suggested that in many parts of the country it’s been a pretty tough campaign season.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer