November 16, 2007
November 16, 2007 - The U.S. Senate failed to approve a vote that would have moved the consideration of the Farm Bill. There is now even more concern regarding the timing of the Farm Bill. Lawmakers in both parties have been trying to assign blame for the stalled legislation. Democrats contend that Republicans are putting other ideological aims ahead of farmers, and Republicans argue that Democrats are trying to block an open debate.
The Senate could try again to invoke cloture when they return from Thanksgiving recess, at a time when they may agree what amendments will be debated, clearing the way for the bill to advance before the end of the year.
On Thursday, Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (Va.) and Rep. Jerry Moran (Kan.), with the support of 22 other representatives, introduced a one-year extension to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
Because the Senate is not expected to consider the legislation until December, Congressman Moran felt it was unacceptable for farmers to head into the new year without knowing what kind of safety nets will be put in place. Without reauthorization, farm policy will revert back to permanent statutes established in 1938 and 1949, which differ markedly from current programs. These laws exclude many commodities, set support prices much higher than current levels and prevent new enrollment in various conservation programs. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33