posted on September 20, 2012 14:03
The deadline is looming for passage of the federal farm bill.
The measure will expire at the end of the month unless Congress acts.
Representative Kathy Hochul says the uncertainty is troubling for local farmers.
“The farmers just want certainty,” Hochul said. “They get up and they do their job everyday. They work their tails off providing us milk, providing us crops. But as I said on the floor of Congress yesterday, imagine if farmers did their jobs the way Congress did. We’d all starve.”
The existing bill – which is traditionally passed every five years – gives U.S. farmers federal insurance against natural disasters. Its scope also addresses food stamps and wildlife conservation.
There are two main issues holding up the bill. Republicans want the food stamp program severely cut which differs from Democrats. Also, dairy farmer insurance -- which Democrats want to make a margin-based program – is at issue with Republicans who don’t agree with the system that would dip into federal funding if dairy profits slip $4 below the cost of production.
Hochul is incredulous at the lack of progress.
“This is inexcusable that they have still not gotten this bill done and they’re just playing politics with it,” Hochul said. “It’s just another example of why Washington is broken. And we need someone to roll up their sleeves – just like the farmers do – and get the job done.”
Passage of the Farm Bill will have to wait. House Speaker John Boehner confirmed Thursday that there will be no attempt to pass the bill before the November elections.