Braley Leads Iowa Delegation Letter Asking for Immediate Vote on Bipartisan Farm Bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:46

Failing to pass a Farm Bill will only make impact of drought worse

 

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today authored a letter so-signed by all five members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation and sent to House leaders asking for an immediate vote on the bipartisan Farm Bill, especially in light of the worsening drought affecting Iowa and the Midwest.

 

Even though the House Agriculture Committee passed a version of the Farm Bill that earned bipartisan support last week, House Speaker John Boehner has not signaled when the bill will come to the full House for consideration.  The Senate passed their version of the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill last month.

 

“Iowa farmers are struggling through the worst drought in decades, and failing to pass a Farm Bill would only compound the problem they face,” Braley said.  “Much of the disaster assistance funding in the 2008 Farm Bill has already expired, leaving many farmers without a safety net this year.  If Congress fails to act by September 30th, the Farm Bill will expire and revert to the outdated 1949 Farm Bill.

 

“Just like millions of small businesses around America, farmers need certainty and confidence in the farm safety net they depend on.  Now more than ever, getting the Farm Bill done is too important for political games.”

 

Last night, Braley hosted a telephone town hall with Iowa farmers to discuss the Farm Bill and the impact of this year’s drought.

 

Braley has hosted a dozen listening sessions on the Food, Farm and Job Bill across eastern Iowa this summer. The listening sessions have taken Braley to Grinnell, Independence, Manchester, Marengo, Marshalltown, Peosta, St. Ansgar, Strawberry Point, Toledo, and Vinton.  Also, Braley joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at listening session events in Maquoketa and Cedar Rapids last month.

 

Text of the Iowa delegation’s letter to House leaders follows:

 

--

 

July 20, 2012

 

The Honorable John Boehner                       

Speaker of the House                         

H-232, the Capitol                       

Washington, DC  20510                         

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Minority Leader

H-204, the Capitol

Washington, DC  20510

 

The Honorable Eric Cantor                        

Majority Leader                        

H-329, the Capitol                       

Washington, DC  20510                         

 

The Honorable Steny Hoyer

Minority Whip

H-148, the Capitol

Washington, DC  20510

 

Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Cantor, and Minority Whip Hoyer,

 

We are writing today to request quick consideration of a multi-year farm bill on the House floor. As you know, the House Agriculture Committee favorably reported a bipartisan bill last week that is prepared for quick floor action. The need to extend assistance for farmers gets more urgent every day, given the worsening drought that is blanketing more than half the country.

 

Just like millions of small businesses across the country, farmers need certainty and confidence in the federal programs that affect their lives. In the United States some sixteen million jobs depend on the success of American agriculture, and the Farm Bill has a huge impact in our home state of Iowa. Agriculture and related industries account for one in six jobs in Iowa and contributes $72 billion into the state’s economy annually. Failure to quickly pass a farm bill will have a devastating impact on our constituents and the agriculture industry across the country.

 

As the agriculture industry across the country faces the worst drought in decades, we’re particularly concerned that failure to act on a farm bill quickly could only exacerbate the current challenges faced by thousands of farmers. Much of the disaster assistance funding in the 2008 Farm Bill has already expired, leaving many farmers without a safety net this year. Without action prior to September 30, the bill’s remaining programs will expire reverting to laws passed under the outdated 1949 Farm Bill. It is vital that we get a Farm Bill passed out of the House prior to the August recess.

 

Farmers feed our nation, and we need to make sure to provide them the tools they need so that they can continue to deliver safe, affordable food to the table. Every American has a stake in this bill.

 

Please do what you can to bring forward the multi-year Farm Bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee. We stand prepared to work with you in a bipartisan manner to accomplish this goal.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bruce Braley

Tom Latham

Leonard Boswell

Steve King

Dave Loebsack

 

 

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