A group of House Democrats is calling on Speaker John Boehner to recall the House of Representatives in order to pass a new five-year farm bill. Citing broad support on both sides of the aisle, this group of representatives claims that a new bill could be speedily passed before American farmers are forced to accept major cuts in federal support.
For the past several months, Congress has been locked in a stalemate over the 2012 Farm Bill. While the Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill (one that trimmed more than $20 billion of farm spending), the House signaled its unwillingness to support this bill (hoping, instead, to pass their own legislation that increased farm-spending cuts).
While the House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the farm bill in July, House leadership spent most of the summer preventing this draft from reaching the House floor.
With the House adjourning to focus on the 2012 election, farmers are now facing the expiration of the current farm bill and potentially another year of uncertainty as Congress debates farm programs.
Some representatives are hoping that a new bill is still possible this year. Ney York Representative Kathy Hochul recently called on Speaker Boehner to recall the House and bring them back into session to pass a new farm bill. Hochul’s pleas are unsurprising given the fact that the New York dairy industry stands to lose nearly all major federal subsidies on October 1.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer