Farmers Resent Farm Bill Extension

While consumers may be celebrating the farm bill extension passed at the beginning of the month, farmers across the country are resentful of Congress’ unwillingness to pass a five-year farm bill, and are worried about the bill’s chances in the new congressional session.

Despite months of hard work and remarkable gains in the Senate and House Agriculture Committee (both passed new five-year farm legislation), the 2012 Farm Bill died in the House of Representatives, where GOP House leadership refused to allow either the Senate or the House Ag bill to reach the floor for a vote.

For a grueling month and a half in the lame duck session, farmers saw all their lobbying efforts and all their hard work slip away as it became painfully clear that the House was unable or unwilling to pass a new bill.

What they did pass was a temporary extension of the expired farm bill, buying nine months for the new Congress to restart the farm bill process.

This extension has upset many farmers, who are facing a new season marked by uncertainty. In the words of one New York farmer, “As far as I’m concerned, all the government did was kick the can down the road. We are just as much on the edge of uncertainty as we were back in November and December waiting for them to come back with a new Farm Bill.”

The House and Senate will go back to the drawing board in their respective committees and many legislators are remaining hopeful that they will pass a new bill by the end of September.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer