The 2012 Farm Bill is Still in Play Within Your District

Faith Grant's picture

Washington, DC is slowly coming back to life.  Summer vacation is over.  School is back in session.  Congress reconvenes next week for just eight legislative days of business.  Even Burning Man 2012 has concluded. 

Everyone is predicting a wild ride this coming season, but no one really knows the final destination.

What’s in store for the Farm Bill?  The best-case scenario is that pressure from drought-weary farmers made a difference.  Representatives come back next Tuesday with a mandate to bring the Farm Bill to the House floor for a full vote.  It gets approved by the House, then reconciled with the Senate version in a formal conference, and finally signed by the President, all before September 30th.  Sounds good, right?

 Sadly, this is the least-likely scenario given the current gridlock in Washington.  What is more likely is Congress passing a short-term extension (three to six months) of the 2008 Farm Bill with disaster assistance tacked on.  This would give legislators a "pass" on dealing with the politics of the bill until after the election.  The problem with this extension scenario is that nearly all of the programs that are important to organic farmers could lose funding for a year or longer.  And it might not be any easier coming to agreement on an extension bill than it was to get consensus on a comprehensive Farm Bill.

It’s not too late to push for a 2012 Farm Bill.  In the past 80 years, Congress has always been able to get it done on time.  Let’s tell Congress to keep a good thing going. While they're still in your home district, tell them, “We need a Farm Bill NOW!”

Blog Category:

Social Image: