Ag groups tell Congress that farm bill should be ‘first order of business’
A new farm bill should be the House’s first order of business when lawmakers return to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13 for a post-election lame-duck session, the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than a dozen other agricultural organizations said in a statement issued Oct 1.
“The bottom line is that while the expiration of the farm bill causes little or no pain to some, others face significant challenges,” the groups wrote.
Among the programs most affected by the Sept. 30 expiration of the 2008 farm bill is the Milk Income Loss Contract program. While current contracts are protected, no new signup will be allowed for the Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, Wetlands Reserve Program and Grasslands Reserve Program are halted until a new farm bill is enacted.
“Congress will return in mid-November for a lame-duck session prior to final adjournment in December,” the groups said in the statement. “We will work to have the first order of business for the House of Representatives be to consider a new farm bill. We are urging our members to seek out their House members between now and the elections and remind them of the consequences of not having a new bill in place prior to adjournment at the end of the year.”
The statement was signed by 15 groups. In addition to Farm Bureau, among the groups represented are the National Farmers Union, Western Growers Association and the National Association of Conservation Districts.