Sep 28, 2012

Congress Fails to Advance Federal Farm Bill or Disaster Assistance Bill via @MBFRenewable

Every five years, Congress takes up the Farm Bill which covers food and agriculture policy under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture.  The current 2008 Farm Bill’s financial support programs are set to expire on September 30, 2012 unless they are re-authorized by Congress.  In recent weeks, passage of a new Farm Bill received extensive attention given both the expiration date and record drought conditions that have plagued the U.S. agriculture industry. Recently, more than half the nation's counties had federal disaster designations that included most in Wisconsin largely because of the drought.  Unfortunately, neither the expiration deadline nor the severe drought conditions stopped the ongoing partisan gridlock in Washington, and Congress departed for a five-week August recess without having taken the critical votes needed to pass either a new comprehensive compromise farm support bill or a limited disaster assistance relief bill.  This article provides an overview of the legislative action that took place prior to the August recess on three key House and Senate bills including: 


•  H.R. 6083 - Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 (“FARRM Bill”);;


•  H.R. 6233 - Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012 (“ADA Bill”);


•  S. 3240 - Agriculture Reform, Food & Jobs Act of 2012 (“ARFJ Bill”); and


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