Merrigan Pushes for New Farm Bill

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan recently delivered a speech at the National Farmers Union convention in Massachusetts in which she lamented the lack of congressional action on the farm bill and urged Senators and Representatives to take speedy action on the vital farm legislation.

After a summer of highs and lows, and after several failed 11th hour attempts to cut through partisan gridlock, the 2012 Farm Bill died in committee at the end of last year. With a new Congress being sworn in in early January, all unfinished legislative business, including the farm bill, has restarted in the New Year.

With months of hard work and compromises now out the window, US Department of Agriculture officials are pressuring Congress to take speedy action on the new farm bill, rather than waiting until continued inaction mandates another cumbersome extension of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Merrigan’s remarks were intended to reassure farmers that she and the USDA were still fighting for a new bill. “By failing to pass a five-year farm bill, Congress is tapping the breaks on the momentum that has been building in rural America,” said Merrigan. “We need a farm bill, and we need it now.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer