In an eleventh hour attempt to pressure Congress into action, the Farm Bureau has openly joined the chorus of voices demanding a new farm bill and opposing a temporary extension of the current bill.
For the last several months, the 2012 Farm Bill has dominated rural news. Despite intense partisan divisions, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill in May, one that drastically reconfigured farm subsidies and reduced agricultural social spending, a move the represented significant compromise on both the Right and the Left.
The House Agriculture Committee also passed a draft of the farm bill, one that protects farm subsidies at the cost of further reducing food stamps funding, but Speaker Boehner has kept this bill, and the Senate bill, from the House floor.
Despite spending the summer lobbying politicians and a gathering of farmers at the Washington Mall, Congress seems no closer to passing a farm bill then they did in May. The Farm Bureau, however, is willing to go down to the wire, pushing Congress and calling legislators until the current bill expires.
Their latest push emphasizes the momentum that the current Congress has built up. Despite political gridlock and partisan tensions, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle managed to come together and compromise on a bill. Waiting until the after the election (and waiting until the next Congress) would mean bringing new members up to speed and juggling a brand new set of legislative priorities, essentially undoing all the work that has gone into getting the farm bill to where it is now.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer