Rural Americans Worry About Farm Bill

Despite Eric Cantor’s pledge to address the 2012 Farm Bill after the November 6 election, farmers across the country are worried about Congress’ ability to live up to that pledge, particularly in the face of partisan gridlock.

For most of the summer, passing the 2012 Farm Bill seemed just out of reach for Congress. While the Senate passed their version of the bill in May and the House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the bill in July, House leadership refused to hold a floor vote and kept the bill off the House’s legislative agenda until after Congress adjourned last month.

Earlier this week, Majority Leader Eric Cantor made headlines when he promised that the House would address agricultural issues when it reconvened after the election. While Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow pushed Cantor to commit to holding a vote, the Majority Leader’s aides were quick to point out that he was not committing to a full vote, just that he promised to address the issue when he returned to Washington.

In light of Congress’ previous gridlock and Cantor’s hemming and hawing, some farmers remain skeptical that Congress will accomplish its goals during the lame duck session. According to West Virginia Deputy Agriculture Commissioner, “[farmers are] still very nervous and have every right to be. They’re trying to plan for the future and they don’t know what the future is going to be.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer