Vilsack Releases Farm Bill Statement

In response to the recent extension of the expired farm bill, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released a statement praising Congress for their efforts in passing a fiscal cliff deal, but condemning their failure to pass a new farm bill.

For most of 2012, Congress has been debating the farm bill. Despite some major successes this summer, with the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee passing versions of the farm bill, House Republicans blocked the legislation.

In the final weeks of Congress’ legislative session, Secretary Vilsack released a series of public statement pressuring Congress to pass a new farm bill. Failure to pass a new five-year bill, Vilsack said, could threaten the economy and hinder an economic recovery.

With Congress passing a nine-month extension of the bill as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, Vilsack praised Congress’ efforts to address the looming economic disaster, he also criticized their failure to pass a new bill.

“I am disappointed Congress has been unable to pass a multi-year reauthorization of the Food, Farm and Jobs bill to give rural America the long-term certainty they need and deserve. I will continue to work with Congress to encourage passage of a reauthorized bill that includes a strong and defensible safety net for producers, expanded rural economic opportunity in the new bio-based economy, significant support for conserving our natural resources, increased commitment to important research, and support for safe and nutritious food for all Americans. I look forward to continuing the effort to get this critical work done,” Vilsack stated in a USDA press release.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer