Even though the House of Representatives adjourned on Friday, effectively ending the ongoing discussion of the 2012 Farm Bill, a bipartisan group of lawmakers continues to insist that it had the votes necessary to pass the bill.
For the past several months, the farm bill has dominated rural news. In May, the Senate passed their version of the bill, one that cut farm spending by about $24 billion, largely by cutting farm subsidies. The House declined to vote on this bill, preferring to pass their own version. While the House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the farm bill, House leadership blocked the bill from reaching the floor, citing a critical lack of votes.
Recent statements by a collection of rural representatives appear to reject these claims. According to Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson, a bipartisan group of farm bill supporters polled their fellow representatives during the final Friday session. According to this informal whip count, the farm bill had the required 218 votes to pass.
According to Arkansas Representative Rick Crawford, who took part in the vote count, “I feel like [Republicans] have anywhere from 125 to 150 on our side; and anywhere from 85 to 115 on the [Democratic] side.”
Even though Congress has adjourned until after the 2012 election, farm bill supporters hope to use these numbers to force the bill to the top of Congress’ agenda when it reconvenes for a lame duck session.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer