Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the Farm Bill. Today, Pelosi also wrote a letter in response to a letter from 46 groups, including the American Farm Bureau Association, in which she urged action on the legislation before the August recess so that a final bill could be signed by the President before September 30th:
"I join Democrats and Republicans and dozens of groups -- representing farmers, ranchers, the faith community, nutrition advocates, scientists, environmental and conservation organizations -- calling for swift action on the Farm Bill. Inaction by the Republican congressional leadership means that disaster assistance will expire at the very time when we are experiencing the worst drought in 50 years; rural America is already facing the termination of livestock and crop assistance in the midst of this crisis. Inaction means economic, nutritional and employment crisis throughout our rural communities.
"In 2008, House Democrats led the way in passing what Colin Peterson has called, "the best Farm Bill in the history of our nation.' Now, we must again pass a Farm Bill that invests in local communities, strengthens rural America, and creates jobs.
"There are, of course, a diversity of views that exist about specifics in the Farm Bill. For example, I cannot support the cuts to the food and nutrition programs. But, these differences are all the more reason to bring the bill up under an open rule that allows for debate and amendments and move us to a conference with the Senate.
"Let's debate the farm bill now before the August recess, make the necessary changes, and get a good bill to the President's desk before September 30th that protects our farmers, provides access to nutritious food, and creates jobs."