Agribusiness
Tell Congress "Pass the Farm Bill now" PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Bruce Braley   
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:22
The drought in Iowa is bad. And it's just getting worse every day without rain. In fact, some farmers might even be looking at total losses this year if things don't change soon.

While we can only pray for wet weather, we can do something right now to help farmers -- and consumers -- in desperate need of our assistance.

The 2012 Farm Bill is the single most important piece of legislation affecting Iowa and Iowa's economy, but Republican leaders in the House are fighting amongst themselves in a petty tug of war. Iowa farmers don't have time for a family squabble.

What's worse is that much of the assistance to help farmers during drought has expired from the last Farm Bill and many farmers have been left without a safety net. This will be devastating for Iowa's economy if Congress doesn't act now.

Join me in urging Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to bring the Farm Bill to the Floor of the House before they leave for vacation in August.

It's not often every single member of the Iowa Congressional delegation -- Republicans and Democrats -- agree on something. And passing the Farm Bill immediately makes real Iowa common sense for farmers, consumers, and Iowa's economy.

There's no excuse - Republican leaders in the House must bring up this bill for a vote. Providing relief to our family farmers now will have a big impact on Iowa's economy and assist farmers trying to make ends meet during this horrible disaster.

Tell Republican leaders in Congress: Bring up the Farm Bill for an up or down vote now! Iowans deserve your immediate action.

Thanks for all you do.

Bruce

 
Braley Moves to Force House Vote on Farm Bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:08

Initiates process that would require vote if majority of House members sign on to so-called “discharge petition”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today announced an effort that could effectively force the House of Representatives to vote on the 2012 Farm Bill before House members leave Washington for the August Recess.

If Congress fails to act by September 30th, the Farm Bill will expire and revert to the outdated 1949 version of the law.  Congressional inaction on the Farm Bill is contributing to a sense of anxiety among Iowa’s farmers and agriculture producers, compounded by worsening drought conditions that are threatening crops across the state.  Already, much of the disaster assistance funding in the 2008 Farm Bill has expired, leaving many farmers without a safety net this year.

House leaders have blocked the chamber from voting on the Farm Bill prior to a month-long August recess.  Braley’s bill would force leadership to take up the Farm Bill, ensuring a vote that would give farmers much-needed economic certainty and security.

“Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but I believe they can come together to get the Farm Bill passed,” said Braley.  “Passing the Farm Bill now makes real Iowa common sense for farmers, consumers, and Iowa's economy.  House leaders should not delay this vote any longer, and I’m taking action today to force a vote on this important issue.  Iowans are depending on the Farm Bill for their future and cannot wait another five weeks to know the path forward.”

House rules provide that a bill must receive an up or down vote if more than 218 members sign a document known as a ‘discharge petition.’  Braley’s has taken the first steps to initiate the discharge petition process, creating a path forward that would circumvent House leaders’ hold on the Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill is critically important for Iowa farmers and Iowa’s economy, and would bolster the safety net for those struggling from this summer’s drought. The hot weather and lack of rain have left farmers vulnerable to weak crops and struggling livestock.

Last week, Braley authored a letter, co-signed by the entire Iowa delegation, encouraging the House leaders to take up the Farm Bill.  On Friday, Braley toured the farm of Gary and Vicki Owens near Palo to see firsthand what Iowa farmers are facing in this summer’s drought.

A version of the Farm Bill has already passed through the Senate, and a committee in the House endorsed a version of the Farm Bill that was supported by both Democrats and Republicans.

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Braley to Announce New Steps to Force Farm Bill Vote in Weekly Conference Call PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 08:39

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) will hold his weekly press conference call with Iowa reporters this morning at 10:30am CDT.

Braley will announce new steps he’s taking to get the US House to hold an up-or-down vote on the Farm Bill.  House leaders have refused to schedule a vote on the Farm Bill, despite a number of disaster assistance programs from the 2008 Farm Bill expiring and Iowa farmers suffering through a worsening drought this summer.

WHAT: Bruce Braley’s weekly press call with Iowa reporters

WHEN:  TODAY, Wednesday July 25, 2012

11:30am EDT // 10:30am CDT

 
Lt. Gov. Simon to talk drought, rural issues in the Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:58

MOLINE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will visit the Quad Cities on Wednesday and Thursday to chair meetings of the Mississippi River Coordinating Council and the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council.

 

Before the river council meeting Wednesday afternoon, Simon will discuss the state’s response to recent drought conditions, the status of Governor Quinn’s request for a nearly statewide disaster declaration that includes Rock Island County, and the impact the drought is having on navigation along the Mississippi River. To date, 26 counties have been declared federal disaster areas due to drought and Quinn has requested 76 more be added to the list.

 

At the rural affairs council meeting Thursday morning, Simon will release the findings of her rural listening posts, which collected quality of life data from Illinois residents in six rural communities earlier this year (Carbondale, Freeport, Gibson City, Mattoon, Peoria and Quincy).

 

More than half of participants in the rural listening posts predicted their quality of life will improve in the next five years and cited job creation, education funding and affordable healthcare as top priorities.

 

EVENT: Mississippi River Coordinating Council meeting

DATE: Wednesday, July 25

TIME: 1:15 p.m. media availability, 1:30 meeting start

LOCATION: WIU Quad Cities Riverfront Campus, Rock Island County Board of Supervisors Room, 3300 River Drive, Moline

 

EVENT: Governor’s Rural Affairs Council meeting

DATE: Thursday, July 26

TIME: 9:45 a.m. media availability, 10 a.m. meeting start

LOCATION: WIU Quad Cities Riverfront Campus, Rock Island County Board of Supervisors Room, 3300 River Drive, Moline

 

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Tour of Drought-Impacted Farm Shows Importance of Farm Bill Passage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:55

Tour of Drought-Impacted Farm Shows Importance of Farm Bill Passage

By: U.S. Representative Bruce Braley

Last Friday, I met with two farmers from Palo, Gary and Vicki Owens, to see their farm and discuss the drought conditions that are affecting crops across Iowa. I saw the dry ground and struggling corn and soybeans that the Owens are hoping will survive in the heat and dry weather. Gary and Vicki told me how concerned they are that sporadic rain during the month of July will doom their crops, but they continue to hope that wetter and cooler weather will grace their crops sooner rather than later. They are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.

The lack of rain along with the blistering heat are making farmers take a look at their insurance policies and what the federal government is doing to assist them if the weather causes a massive loss in crops.

Today, just as we saw in the 1920s, the federal government needs to take responsibility when farmers suffer from events outside of their control.  That’s the reason why, last week, I joined Iowa’s entire House delegation, Republicans and Democrats, to demand that Congressional leaders hold an immediate vote on the bipartisan Farm Bill.  Some disaster relief programs from the 2008 Farm Bill have already expired, and if Congress does not pass the farm bill by September, laws will revert back to the outdated 1949 Farm Bill.  We can’t afford to go back to laws that are that outdated – let alone when we are suffering from such a difficult summer.

I will continue to work with the US Department of Agriculture to get farmers the help they need, and keep working to bring members of both parties together to ensure that the Farm Bill is passed as quickly as possible.  Iowa farmers and their families need some degree of certainty during such uncertain times.  The Farm Bill ensures a safety net and allows farmers a degree of financial security for the future.

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