July 12, 2012
The House Agriculture Committee approved its farm bill at 1 am Thursday morning with a bipartisan vote of 35-11. The next steps for the bill are uncertain, however, as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) today again refused to guarantee it any floor time before the authorizations expire Sept. 30.
Journalists at Politico and National Journal report that while Rep. Boehner commended the hard work put forth by chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and the Agriculture Committee, he has doubts about some provisions in the bill, specifically the new dairy policy authored by ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN).
Timing for the bill is critical since it must first pass the floor of the House and then go to conference between the House and Senate for agreement before the Sept. 30 deadline. Neither of these tasks will be easy and the Senate and House versions of the farm bill are still quite disparate, especially on commodity policy and on SNAP funding issues.
A previous NSAC blog post details the potential paths the bill could take from this point forward.
National Journal quoted ranking member Peterson saying, “Simply put, the House leadership needs to bring the farm bill to the floor for a vote. We should not jeopardize the health of our rural economies which, by and large, have remained strong for the last few years.”
Categories: Farm Bill