Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) urged House leaders of both parties in a letter sent today to immediately begin working together to pass the 2012 Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. Last week, the US Senate passed the Farm Bill with a bipartisan vote of 64-35.
"Time is running short to pass a Farm Bill before the current law expires on September 30th," Braley said. "The uncertainty surrounding the Farm Bill is affecting business investments and decisions across rural America. It's critically important that we get to work passing a Farm Bill so we can provide stability and certainty in the agriculture economy. Millions of American jobs depend on it."
Braley also described his support for the Senate-passed Food, Farm and Jobs Bill's $24 billion in deficit reduction, and expressed concern with further reductions that might have a negative impact on jobs 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.
Braley has hosted eleven Food, Farm and Jobs Bill listening sessions across eastern Iowa since the beginning of May. The listening sessions have taken Braley to Grinnell, Independence, Manchester, Marengo, Marshalltown, St. Ansgar, Strawberry Point, Toledo, and Vinton. Braley joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at listening session events in Maquoketa and Cedar Rapids earlier this month.
Last week, Braley introduced the Rural Energy Investment Act to incorporate feedback from the listening sessions into the Energy Title of the Farm Bill and create rural energy jobs.