Farm Bill up for Committee Vote

The 2012 Farm Bill, which recently passed the U.S. Senate, is still waiting for a committee vote in the House of Representatives before going on to a debate by the full House. While top GOP agriculture committee leaders have promised to get the bill before the House this summer, many farmers are nervously watching the clock, hoping that Congress takes action before the September 31 expiration of the current bill.

After being rushed through the Senate Agriculture Committee and quickly approved by the full Senate, the farm bill ran into opposition in the House of Representatives. Despite support from members of the House Agriculture Committee, Majority Leader Eric Cantor delayed the markup process until after the July 4 recess.

For the past week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has been pressuring the House to pass the farm bill as quickly as possible. According to Vilsack, “It just needs to get done and there’s no excuse for it not to be done.”

House Agriculture Committee chair Frank Lucas is also ratcheting up the pressure. In an interview earlier this week, he pledged to schedule a committee vote on July 11 and urged Cantor to schedule a vote as soon as possible. “I don’t care if it’s 8:00 in the morning or if it’s 3:00 in the afternoon, or if it’s 10 minutes till midnight, just give me time,” Lucas said.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer