Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly sent a letter, along with 16 freshman Democratic Members of Congress, to House leaders urging them to expedite the passage of a Farm Bill.
"Passing a Farm Bill is essential because the programs contained in the bill touch every American, from the farmers in rural communities to consumers across the country," Donnelly said. "I signed on to this letter to stress to Democratic leadership how incredibly important it is to pass a new Farm Bill before the April 18th expiration of the current Farm Bill."
The House of Representatives passed a Farm Bill on July 30, 2007, and negotiations between the Senate and the administration have been ongoing since this past December.
The letter asks that leadership not follow a strategy proposed by many opponents of a new Farm Bill, which is to pass a one-year extension of the existing law governing agricultural policies. A one-year extension would undo the many months of effort that have gone into crafting a new Farm Bill and likely put the overall negotiating process back at the beginning point.
"We've worked too long and too hard to put together a good bill for Hoosier farmers and American agriculture not to see it signed into law. As we recommend in our letter, I hope that Democratic leaders work with House and Senate Farm Bill negotiators to come to an agreement quickly, so we can expedite the passage of a new Farm Bill and meet the changing needs of rural America," Donnelly said.