Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA) joined Iowans, members of the agriculture community and fellow lawmakers on Wednesday morning to rally on U.S. Capitol grounds in favor of a new five-year Farm Bill. Current farm programs are scheduled to expire at the end of September.
“With so much uncertainty caused by economic and environmental conditions from the current drought, we need a new Farm Bill to address the agricultural needs of farmers, ranchers and other members of the agriculture community in Iowa and across America,” Congressman Tom Latham said. “I will continue to work with all lawmakers, regardless of political party, toward timely passage of a long-term Farm Bill.”
“I was pleased to attend today’s rally and join members of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Farm Bureau in calling for swift action on the Farm Bill,” said Congressman Steve King.”For weeks I’ve been working with House leaders and rank and file members of both parties to try to build a bipartisan coalition to get the bill to the House floor, get it passed, and get it to Conference with the Senate.
“We passed a Farm Bill out of the House Agriculture Committee with significant bipartisan support in July. We knew bipartisan support was necessary to get the bill through the committee, and I worked with Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Peterson, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Committee to get that done. After it passed the Committee, we knew we’d need that same kind of bipartisan support to move the bill to the House floor and get it passed. Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi is encouraging her Caucus to oppose the bill because of its reforms of fraud and abuse in the SNAP program, making it difficult to get support from the other side of the aisle.
“Apparently, in the weeks leading up to Election Day, Nancy Pelosi sees a political advantage in opposing this bill and whipping a ‘nay’ vote. But the Farm Bill is too important to play politics. Our farmers and producers need the certainty that comes from a long-term Farm Bill, and they need it now.”
The most recent five-year farm bill, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, became law in May of 2008. This legislation expires at the end of the current fiscal year, September 30, making it necessary for Congress and the White House to enact new legislation to extend agriculture programs.
Wednesday’s rally featured a bipartisan group of speakers from the United States House of Representatives and Senate. Additionally, according to the National Farmers Union, the event was endorsed by more than 80 organizations representing a broad range of associations and coalitions representing commodity crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, state and local governments, minor crops, energy and biobased product groups, farm cooperatives and financial groups. Among those represented was the National Corn Growers Association.