Representatives and politicians running for reelection in agricultural states may find themselves in a tough situation this November thanks to the failure of the 2012 Farm Bill. In what could be the first of many such protestors, a group of angry farmers gathered outside of the campaign headquarters of Denny Rehberg (who is running for Senate in Montana), venting their frustration at the House, the GOP, and the failure of Washington to address the needs of the farm community.
For months, the farm bill has been at the center of rural news. While the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill, the House refused to vote on this measure, preferring instead to draft their own version of the vital farm legislation. While a draft passed the House Agriculture Committee, it was stalled on the House floor by GOP leaders like Speaker of the House John Boehner.
While many rural representatives supported bringing the farm bill to a vote, they may face the brunt of the general backlash against the Republican Party. In Montana, a group of thirty protestors demonstrated outside of Rehberg’s Great Falls campaign headquarters, holding signs stating “Farm Bill Before Vacation,” Rehberg: All Hat, No Farm Bill,” and “Put Montana 1st Not DC Games.”
The Montana protest, and the general unhappiness with House Republicans, has cut across party lines with individuals on the left and right criticizing the House’s decision to adjourn without tackling the farm bill. With a host of agricultural states (including North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Indiana), electing Senators in 2012, the failure of the farm bill could end up determining control of the Senate and the White House.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer