President Obama and Secretary Vilsack Blame House Republicans for Farm Bill FailureSun, 23 Sep 2012 06:02:17 CDT
Both President Barack Obama and his Secretary of Agriculture took a swing at the Republican leadership in the US House over the weekend for not moving forward and getting a 2012 Farm Bill done in September before heading home to campaign. President Obama used his weekly radio address to take his jab- including the farm bill in a list of several things that were left undone as Congress scrambled to get out of town in advance of getting down to non stop campaigning in advance of the November general election.
Regarding the stalled out efforts to get farm policy renewed, President Obama said "if Congress had gotten its act together, we would have a farm bill to help farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters like the drought we had this summer. And we'd have made necessary reforms to give our rural communities some long-term certainty. But so far, Republicans in Congress have dragged their feet."
His Secertary of Agriculture, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, whose wife is busy burning up the campaign trail in Iowa where she is running for a seat in the US House, issued a somewhat longer statement on Saturday morning- here are his comments in full:
"In a year that has brought its share of challenges to America's farmers and ranchers, the House Republicans have added new uncertainty for rural America. Unfortunately, House Republicans left Washington without passing comprehensive, multi-year food, farm and jobs legislation, leaving thousands of farming families exposed. U.S. agriculture is fighting to maintain the tremendous momentum it has built over the past three years, but with natural disasters and other external forces threatening livelihoods of our farmers and ranchers, certainty is more important than ever. Americans deserve a food, farm and jobs bill that reforms the safety net for producers in times of need, promotes the bio-based economy, conserves our natural resources, strengthens rural communities, promotes job growth in rural America, and supports food assistance to low-income families. Without the certainty of a multi-year bill, rural communities are being asked to shoulder undue burdens."
The 2008 farm law expires September 30, 2012, which will start the process of interrupting the continuation of a number of key programs that farmers, ranchers and rural America have grown accustomed to. If no farm bill can be developed during the anticipated Congressional Lame Duck session in November and December, after the elections, that could result in the Commodity title of the soon to expire farm law being replaced with 1949 permanent law, including a support program that is calculated using parity.
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