With Congress back in session, the pressure is on the House of Representatives to pass a new Farm Bill. Democrats are blaming House Speaker John Boehner for holding up action, but House Ag Committee chairman Frank Lucas says Boehner understands the need for a new Farm Bill, “He understands the need, but is trying to manage a very polarized political minefield.” Lucas said there are many newly-elected members of the House who were elected on a “say no to everything” platform. Lucas says a Farm Bill can only pass the House on a consensus vote.
Lucas says the Farm Bill has become a victim of a polarized political process, “You have those on the left who don’t want to support rural America because farmers are too conservative, and then there are those on the right who don’t want to spend money on anything.” Lucas said it is his job to find a middle ground.
But with the election less than 2 months away, can a compromise be reached? Lucas says yes, “I think I can by working with both sides.” He admitted, however, that the GOP leadership is not so sure. The calendar is working against that process with a very limited number of legislative days left before the current Farm Bill expires at the end of the month. Meanwhile, hundreds will gather on the Mall in Washington on Wednesday in a rare farmer rally, calling on Congress to take action on a few Farm Bill.