On Wednesday, September 12, a coalition of farmers (organized in part by the Farm Bureau) will rally on the grounds of the Capitol building, protesting Congress’s refusal to pass a farm bill and pressuring lawmakers to act speedily in passing new farm legislation.
For the past several months, the farm bill has dominated rural news. While politicians on both sides of the aisle have been happy to rhetorically support the farm community, they have been steadfastly opposed to taking action on vital farm legislation. The 2012 Farm Bill has languished since May, with a Senate bill that will not likely pass in the House of Representatives and a draft from the House Agriculture Committee that is being blocked by House leadership.
The current farm bill expires at the end of the month, leaving legislators only a handful of days to pass a new bill. While the current bill is likely to be extended, many farmers say that they need the certainty of a new bill.
With Congress about to reconvene after a five-week recess, farmers are hoping that a large-scale public protest could provide the necessary pressure to get the farm bill on the House floor.
The agricultural coalition, known as FarmBillNow, is planning to rally on the Washington Mall in a show of public support. In addition, they are collecting signatures on petitions and are initiating letter drives to let politicians know that their constituents support a new farm bill.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer