Why the farm bill needs to pass and probably won't - The Packer

Why the farm bill needs to pass and probably won't

09/11/2012 05:41:00 AM
Tom Karst

National Editor Tom KarstToday and tomorrow will see a big push for action on the farm bill, but perhaps to no avail.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, will host a press conference today at 12:30 Eastern to "to discuss the need for a Farm Bill before the current one expires at the end of September."

The Farm Bill Now! coalition, which includes all the major fresh produce associations,  is planning for a rally tomorrow to urge passage of the farm bill.

Even with all the heat and light on the issue, a farm bill is not likely this year, House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has told a Minnesota newspaper. House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas also doesn't see a sense of urgency among fellow lawmakers.

It is assumed the result of this inability to pass a new farm bill by the time the old farm bill expires at the end of September will be a short-term extension to the bill. But some wonder if that will even happen.

The "lame duck" session after the election may be the last-gasp chance to pass a farm bill this year.

All this speculation about what will happen to the farm bill reminds me of a quote attributed to Winston Churchill.

"A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen."

Politicians better get their scripts ready for all possible contingencies as it relates to the puzzling fate of the 2012 farm bill.

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September, 11, 2012 at 02:48 PM

Want to pass the farm bill? Sign the petition! Want to prevent the farm bill? Voice your opinion! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTudILWFj94

Thomas Driscoll    
Washington DC  |  September, 12, 2012 at 10:22 AM

An abundance of disparate opinions on the possibility of a farm bill came with Congress' recent return to Washington. But there's no getting around the fact that a farm bill vote would have to be taken up very soon to get done before the election... a tall order since it's not on any existing House schedule. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas expressed strong resolve to push for a farm bill at the Southwest Ag Issues Summit in Austin. "Responding to an audience question about his interaction with House leadership on bringing the bill to a vote, he said, “When I’m in Washington, I’m like a rash, I’m all over them.”" Lucas thinks that if he can get the bill to the House floor, it will pass. In explaining the difficulties over the farm bill, Bart Fischer, chief economist of the House Ag Committee, asserted that nutrition is the prime cause for contention over the farm bill in the House. (Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press) http://westernfarmpress.com/government/farm-bill-will-happen-when ...to continue reading, please visit http://agtogo.blogspot.com/

CO  |  September, 12, 2012 at 12:19 PM

The Farm Bill is antiquated with too much past garbage and needs to die. Legislators can then implement separate meaningful cost effective measures to address actual problems and needs and keep it simple for future review as needed. How many times is our legislator’s going to extend something vs. fixing the problems? Let the Farm Bill die then implement better separate measures as needed and such as: 1. Drought Bill to cover the impact of current drought situation as needed. 2. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) does not expire at the end of September. It can be overhauled and placed in its own bill when it gets ready to expire and eliminate bickering and special interest garbage. Also potentially would allow for less costly and better monitoring of abuse. 3. To a certain extent, the same is true of conservation programs. Most of the conservation programs are funded through 2014. At that time it can be placed in a separate bill with NO MORE PORK added to bills. We are broke … we need to fix the problems and reduce the government. For those who feel government should provide everything, please watch this video so you may fully understand why we are in such a mess today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXBZd3jmbWg

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