No Farm Bill Before 2008 Legislation Expires
With Congress in recess until the general election - and the farm bill set to expire on September 30th - Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst says we're headed into uncharted territory. Mid-November is now the earliest lawmakers could pass a new farm bill - the longest period Congress has gone without passing farm policy in decades. Some 2008 Farm Bill provisions have already expired. Others will revert to 1949 provisions - known as permanent legislation. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said over the weekend that by leaving Washington without passing a comprehensive, multi-year food, farm and jobs bill - the House Republicans added new uncertainty for rural America in a year that has brought its share of challenges to farmers and ranchers. He said they left thousands of farming families exposed. According to Vilsack - U.S. agriculture is fighting to maintain the tremendous momentum it has built over the past three years. But with natural disasters and other external forces threatening the livelihoods of our farmers and ranchers - he says certainty is more important than ever.
Secretary Vilsack said Americans deserve a food, farm and jobs bill that reforms the safety net for producers in times of need, promotes the bio-based economy, conserves our natural resources, strengthens rural communities, promotes job growth in rural America and supports food assistance to low-income families. Without the certainty of a multi-year bill - he said rural communities are being asked to shoulder undue burdens.
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