Sens. Mike Johanns (Neb.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Maria Cantwell (Wash.) this week sent a letter, along with 40 of their colleagues, to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calling for a timely and open debate on the Senate Farm Bill.
"With our constant focus on job creation, we write to urge you to schedule floor consideration of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 as soon as possible," the Senators wrote. "The bill takes steps to reduce the deficit and decrease government spending by $23 billion. It passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on April 26 with a bipartisan vote of 16 to 5. This sets an example of how Senators can come together in a bipartisan way to craft meaningful, yet fiscally responsible, policy. We believe there is strong support in the full Senate to consider the bill in a fair and open manner that allows Senators the opportunity to offer amendments."
The risk management, conservation, research, trade promotion and nutrition programs in the legislation impacts nearly every American. Many of these programs will expire at the end of the year if no action is taken to reauthorize the Farm Bill.
Sens. who joined the originators of the letter included John Barrasso (Wyo.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Bob Casey (Pa.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Kent Conrad (N.D), Chris Coons (Del.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kristen Gillibrand (N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), John Hoeven (N.D.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Tim Johnson (S.D.), John Kerry (Mass.), Mark Kirk (Ill.) Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Pat Leahy (Vt.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Jon Tester (Mont.), John Thune (S.D.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Ron Wyden (Ore.).