We are delighted to report the proposed House bill to extend the current farm bill by a year that we have campaigned against since it was hastily introduced last week has been pulled and will not be considered. Elsewhere we have reported on all the huge negative ramifications that bill would have had.
We now understand a livestock disaster assistance bill, without a farm bill extension, is being put together for consideration on the House floor under the “suspension of the rules” process for non-controversial bills, a process which requires a two-thirds affirmative vote for a measure to pass. We are not opposed to that in principle, but would be opposed if it coupled with cuts to farm bill conservation programs.
In a statement earlier today we had this to say:
“The best way for Congress to address disaster assistance and help farmers thought this severe drought is to pass a new five-year farm bill reform package. Though they differ widely on reform, both the Senate-passed and the House Committee-passed bill include disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers. Both bills also fund the tools that help farmers prepare for unpredictable and extreme production conditions — the conservation programs that reward farmers for proactive smart farm management. Funding a short-term disaster package by cutting conservation programs would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face — ugly and debilitating. NSAC would vigorously oppose a stand alone disaster package funded through cuts to farm conservation. We are not opposed to a disaster assistance bill provided farm conservation funding is not raided in the process. ”
We will keep readers appraised of the substance and prospects for the forthcoming new bill and possible vote later this week as we learn more.