Ag interests appeal to House leadership for farm bill floor time
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WASHINGTON, July 13, 2012- A united group of 46 agricultural and commodity groups sent a letter to House leadership today urging Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to bring the House Agriculture Committee's farm bill to the floor for a vote.
“While representing a wide range of interests, we are united in our view that the bill should receive floor time and be finalized this year, on schedule,” according to the letter, which also indicated that although the list of signatories represents a variety of interests, each group believes extension of the current farm bill would be inadequate.
Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said after the House Agriculture Committee's farm bill markup early Thursday morning that House members will not want the bill to go straight to conference and “will not stand for it not going to the floor” before passage. He noted the urgency of getting the legislation on the floor before August 3. The possibility of extending the current bill “is even less likely with these guys,” he said of the House, noting that “there is no good scenario beyond Sept. 30.”
“My concern is the bill will be taken away from us and we will be told what to do,” he added.
The entire contents of the letter are below:
“The 2012 Farm Bill is among the most important pieces of legislation Congress will consider this year. The Senate and the House Agriculture Committee have completed their jobs and delivered new, comprehensive bills. Recognizing that time is short before the Sept. 30 expiration of the current farm bill, we urge you to schedule time for floor consideration of the bill as quickly as possible.
While representing a wide range of interests, we are united in our view that the bill should receive floor time and be finalized this year, on schedule. We reject calls for delay and believe that extension of the current bill does not adequately address the needs of farmers, ranchers, foresters, those in need of food assistance at home and abroad, conservation, rural communities, or food and agricultural research.”
For the list of groups that signed the bill click here.
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