On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner made a statement blaming Senate Democrats for slowness in completing a farm bill. In response – Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says Republicans and Demorats have worked together for two years in a row in the Senate to pass a bipartisan farm bill. Stabenow says ag leaders continue to work together – and everyone needs to rise above partisan politics if bipartisan progress is to continue. During a teleconference with Ducks Unlimited on Tuesday – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the uncertainty of not having a farm bill for this length of time is having an impact. With time running out this year – House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas says the farm bill may not be ready for a vote before the end of the year – according to Reuters.
Lucas says a broad framework of the bill could be hammered out this month – but the conference committee isn’t quite there yet. He says it’s impossible to have a bill passed in the next 10 days – but it is possible to have a set of principles laid out and a text lawyers could work on with economists to complete so the final bill could be finished in January.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says it’s time once and for all to unify behind a farm bill that works for all of American agriculture. Stallman says the nation can’t afford to do otherwise. The best way to do that – he says – is to trust those who have brought the process this far. He says AFBF strongly supports the ag leaders and believes through the leadership of Chairman Lucas, Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Peterson and Ranking Member Cochran – a farm bill will get done. Stallman says it’s time to let the leaders lead and move forward on a farm bill.