On June 27, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on the Senate passage of the Immigration Bill: “Today’s strong bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate to fix America’s broken immigration system is good news for farmers and ranchers, good news for farm workers, and good news for rural America. The Senate plan would ensure the stable agricultural workforce that U.S. producers need in order to remain competitive with other Continue reading
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Dairy farmers across the nation are once again left without effective farm bill legislation. Another year of hard work by dairy farm groups to develop and promote their policy ideas has been ignored by Congress. Continue reading
On Thursday, June 20th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the House version of the 2013 Farm Bill, HR-1947. It received a solid trouncing, going down in defeat, 195 to 234. Obviously, the House leadership is challenged with a House majority that defies being led, compounded by an inherent inability to build consensus. Perhaps a dose of cluelessness, too: both Speaker John Boehner, (R-OH) and Ranking Member of the House Ag Committee, Collin Peterson, (D-MN) were convinced they had the necessary votes for passage of HR-1947 until the vote was actually underway. Both were blindsided by botched vote estimates, then stunned and dismayed watching the best chance for a much anticipated 2013 Farm Bill go down the pipe!
Big question is now whether they will tweak HR-1947, try to rally support, (if that is even possible) and run it through again, or just re-up the currently extended 2008 Farm Bill when it expires on Sept. 30th. Currently, all concerned are licking wounds and crafting poisonous rhetoric to hurl at each other. Sadly, in the U.S. House, this is now what passes as business as usual, after a major legislative failure. Continue reading