Farm Bill in Limbo during August Congressional Recess
August 6, 2012
The battle over the Farm Bill shifts this month from Washington, DC, to the hundreds of congressional districts across America, to which members of Congress have returned for their August recess. NMPF has issued a call to action to its members, urging dairy farmers and their cooperatives to voice strong support for the passage of a new farm bill while their elected representatives are back home.
Last week, the House tried and failed to pass a one-year extension of the current farm bill that would have offered no value to dairy farmers. Because NMPF and most other farm groups opposed this approach, the House leadership pulled the bill, and instead passed a $300 million drought assistance bill that also offers little real support to dairy farmers. NMPF sent a letter to Congress expressing its disappointment that the House failed to act on a new Farm Bill.
The current farm bill expires at the end of September, and once the House and Senate return to Capitol Hill on Sept. 10th, there are fewer than 10 legislative days for them to act on farm policy before that deadline. The most likely current scenario is that farm policy will have to wait until an anticipated lame duck session of Congress is held after the November elections. In order to bring the Dairy Security Act to completion, members of both the House and Senate need to hear that getting a new bill is a priority to dairy farmers.