Congressman Rick Berg today announced that he began working with a bipartisan coalition to gather support for a discharge petition that would force the consideration of the Farm Bill on the House floor, regardless of whether or not House Leadership approves.
"The time for a Farm Bill is now. If House Leadership won't allow a vote on the Farm Bill, we will use every tool available in our continued effort to push for one," Berg stated. "I refuse to sit back and watch our farmers and ranchers face uncertainty while Washington plays political games."
To start gathering support for a discharge petition, Berg penned a joint letter with Congressman Bruce Braley (D -- Iowa), Congressman Chris Gibson (R -- New York), and Congressman Peter Welch (D -- Vermont) to request support of a discharge petition.
"The need to extend assistance for farmers gets more urgent every day, given the worsening drought that is blanketing more than half the country," the Members said in their joint letter. "Just like millions of small businesses across the country, farmers need certainty and confidence in the federal programs that affect their lives. Failure to provide certainty will have a devastating impact on the agriculture industry."
A discharge petition refers to the process of gathering the signatures of Members of Congress that would force a bill to the House floor for an immediate vote, bypassing House Leadership and Committees. In order to be successful, the petition must receive 218 signatures, which would constitute a majority of the House.
Late yesterday afternoon, Berg voted against a motion for Congress to adjourn for the August recess. In opposing that measure, Berg explained that he does not believe that the House should leave Washington without the passage of a Farm Bill.