With only a few legislative days left in 2012, the House moves increasingly closer to adjourning without passing a new five-year farm bill. Despite the House leadership’s refusal to vote on either then Senate bill or the House Agriculture Committee draft, some House members are blaming the Senate for the delays in passing a new bill.
Despite coming tantalizingly close to passing a new farm bill this summer, congressional inaction sabotaged negotiation efforts between both houses of Congress, leaving farmers with little hope that a new farm bill will be passed in 2012.
If a new bill is not passed soon, 1940s era farm legislation will go back into effect. While most farm programs are funded through early 2013, many programs (including prices controls for dairy farmers and a host of conservation programs) will lose their funding and will be shut down.
Despite the House’s steadfast refusal to vote on the farm bill, some House Republicans are blaming the Senate for their inactivity. Tom Reed of New York recently claimed that the Senate’s willingness to stand by the status quo was preventing the passage of a new farm bill. The senate version was passed pre-election, so a lot of it was done for politics rather than substantive reforms,” said Reed. “In the House there’s a strong appetite to do substantive reforms that are going to improve (agriculture) policy for the next five years. We’re talking 5 years.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer