Joins Reps. Noem, Welch, and 59 others in pushing for consideration of the Farm Bill
|Washington, DC – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) this week joined a bipartisan group of members including Congresswoman Kristi Noem (SD-At Large) and Congressman Peter Welch (VT-At Large) in spearheading a letter to House leadership urging them to bring H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act, to a vote before August. The Farm Bill passed the House Agriculture Committee last week by a strong bipartisan vote of 35-11.
In the letter, which has so far been signed by 38 Republicans and 24 Democrats, Noem, Welch, Schilling and their colleagues push Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer for floor time to consider the Farm Bill so it can be debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law before the current Farm Bill expires on September 30.
“The 17th Congressional District of Illinois is blessed with some of the most fruitful and productive soil in the world,” Schilling said. “In fact, when it comes to the value of sales of corn and soybeans, we rank 14th out of 435 Congressional Districts. We host the Farm Progress Show every other year, are home to Ag manufacturers John Deere and Caterpillar, and are among the leading districts for livestock in the country. I truly do believe we are an agricultural powerhouse.
“It was this Congress that passed three Free Trade Agreements, repealed the health care reform law’s onerous 1099 tax reporting requirement, passed the VOW to Hire Heroes veterans’ jobs bill, passed the STOCK ACT, passed a four-year FAA reauthorization, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, passed a multi-year transportation reauthorization, and passed a defense bill that will promote workload and jobs at the Rock Island Arsenal, all on a bipartisan basis. It’s crucial that we work together to pass a Farm Bill, and continue to allow producers to do what they do best – feed our country.”
In their letter, the Members write, “The message from our constituents and rural America is clear: we need a farm bill now. We ask that you bring a farm bill up before the August District Work Period so that the House will have the opportunity to work its will. We ask that you make this legislation a priority of the House as it is critically important to rural and urban Americans alike.”
The full letter is copied below. Signers include Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Robert Schilling (R-Ill.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), David Loebsack (D-Iowa), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Sam Graves (R-Ga.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Jeff Landry (R-La.), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La), Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Candice Miller (R-Mich).
Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Democratic Leader Pelosi and Democratic Whip Hoyer:
Many current farm bill policies expire on September 30, 2012. The House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act, or the 2012 Farm Bill, on July 12th with a strong bipartisan vote of 35-11. While by no means perfect, this farm bill is needed for producers and those who rely on sound agriculture policy and nutrition programs during difficult economic times.
The House Agriculture Committee has done its work and we now ask that you make time on the floor of the House to consider this legislation, so that it can be debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law, before the current bill expires. We need to continue to tell the American success story of agriculture and work to ensure we have strong policies in place so that producers can continue to provide an abundant, affordable and safe food supply.
We all share the goal of giving small businesses certainty in these challenging economic times. Agriculture supports nearly 16 million jobs nationwide and over 45 million people are helped each year by the nutrition programs in the farm bill. We have a tremendous opportunity to set the course of farm and nutrition policy for another five years while continuing to maintain and support these jobs nationwide.
The message from our constituents and rural America is clear: we need a farm bill now. We ask that you bring a farm bill up before the August District Work Period so that the House will have the opportunity to work its will. We ask that you make this legislation a priority of the House as it is critically important to rural and urban Americans alike.
We appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to working with you to advance the FARRM Act.
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