WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2012 - House GOP leaders are in the process of trying to assess the potential vote count in anticipation of offering either a three-month or one-year farm bill extension up for a vote next week, according to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla. The current farm bill expires Sept. 30.


The action comes as Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, Rep. Rick Berg, R-ND, and other lawmakers filed a discharge petition in an attempt to force a vote on HR. 6083, the five-year farm bill that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee.

At the same time, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-SD, and Peter Welch, D-Vt, sent a letter to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor requesting a meeting to discuss the farm bill.

Lucas noted that “we may not know the outcome" of the whip count and potential action until next week.

If 218 House members sign the discharge petition, House leaders would be forced to allow a vote on the Farm Bill that passed the House Agriculture Committee on a bipartisan 35-11 vote. For more background and the list of co-signers, go to www.Agri-Pulse.com


The following is the request by Reps. Kristi Noem, R-SD, Peter Welch, D-Vt., Rick Berg. R-ND, and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, to fellow members for signatures on the letter to Eric Cantor asking for a farm bill meeting:

Dear Colleague,

As you know, programs authorized by the 2008 Farm bill expire on September 30. We believe it is essential that the House vote on a new Farm Bill before these programs expire. Please join us in signing the attached letter requesting a meeting with Majority Leader Cantor to discuss scheduling floor time for a Farm Bill.


KRISTI NOEM                                                          PETER WELCH      

Member of Congress                                                   Member of Congress

RICK BERG                                                              BRUCE BRALEY

Member of Congress                                                   Member of Congress


Dear Majority Leader Cantor,

We request a meeting with you to discuss our urgent concern that a Farm Bill be brought to the floor for a vote before the current law expires at the end of the month.

Whether Members support or oppose the Farm Bill, we believe the House should be allowed to vote so that we can be held accountable to those we represent.

We understand time is short, but we need to act now to provide certainty in rural and urban America alike. Thank you for your consideration of our request.


For more news, go to www.agri-pulse.com