Rural Lawmakers Try to Force Farm Bill Vote

A bipartisan collection of rural lawmakers is trying to go over the heads of House GOP leaders in an effort to force a vote on the 2012 Farm Bill.

Congressional efforts to pass a farm bill have dominated rural news for the past several months. After significant delay, the Senate passed their version of the bill earlier this summer. Rather than vote on the Senate bill, the House chose to pass its own farm legislation. While the House Agriculture Committee has passed a draft of the farm bill, this draft has not reached the floor and Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor appear to be in no hurry to add the bill to the House legislative agenda.

According to Speaker Boehner, the House does not have the required 218 votes to pass the bill (Boehner cites conservative opposition to the bill’s price tag and liberal opposition to cuts to the Food Stamp Program).

Refusing to accept Boehner’s explanation, a bipartisan group of representatives is circulating a discharge petition, which would put the farm bill on the House agenda even without support from Boehner and Cantor. Republican and Democratic representatives from Iowa, New York, Nevada, Vermont, and South Dakota are circulating the petition in an effort to collect the required signatures.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer