With the 2012 elections over and Congress preparing to return to Washington for the lame duck session, farmers and ranchers are planning their last 2012 push to pressure representatives to pass the farm bill.
For most of the summer, despite pressure from both farm advocacy groups and a devastating drought that crippled production, the House of Representatives refused to take action on the farm bill. While the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee passed versions of the bill in May and July respectively, the full House refused to vote on either of these drafts, with Speaker Boehner claiming there weren’t enough votes and with political insiders saying he wanted to wait until after the election.
With the election season finally over, Congress has about one month to finish its business until it adjourns for the last time in 2012. In January, newly elected representatives and senators will be sworn in and the new congressional session will begin.
Farmers are still hoping that the bill can be passed before 2013 so that the progress made this year will not be erased. Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) has claimed that there are enough Democratic votes in favor of the farm bill that, with the support of the Republican majority, a House bill can be passed and reconciled with the Senate bill.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer