Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) joined US Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack today to host a pair of listening sessions in eastern Iowa focused on the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill pending before Congress. The listening sessions, held at the Hurtsville Interpretive Center in Maquoketa and Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, were open to the public.
"The Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is the single most important bill in Congress this year affecting Iowa jobs and the Iowa economy," Braley said. "From renewable energy to conservation programs, from crop insurance to agricultural research and rural development, this legislation has a huge impact on our state. It's my job to get Iowans' feedback on what needs to be included in this important bill, and I'm honored to have Secretary Vilsack join me at these listening sessions. We're working to make the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill a driver of economic growth in Iowa."
The current Farm Bill expires on September 30th of this year. If Congress fails to act by that date, existing agricultural programs will end and America's farm policy will revert to the programs outlined in the 1949 Farm Bill -- legislation written more than 60 years ago.
Last week, the US Senate took the first procedural steps toward passing the 2012 Food, Farm and Jobs Bill -- a significant step forward toward getting a bill passed this year. The US House has not yet seen significant action on the legislation.
For past month, Braley has hosted listening sessions on the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill in communities across eastern Iowa, including in Grinnell, Independence, Manchester, Marengo, Marshalltown, Strawberry Point, Toledo, and Vinton.