Congresswoman Chellie Pingree had tough words for Republican leaders in the House, who have abandoned efforts to pass a farm bill beforetheir August recess.
"The Senate and the House Agriculture Committee even passed a farm bill," Pingree said. "But now Republican leaders seem to have given up. The current farm bill runs out at the end of next month and Congressneeds to act and not leave the nation's farmers in the lurch."
The farm bill is typically passed every five years and the versions of the bill passed by the Senate and the House committee this summer both included numerous provisions written by Pingree to support local and sustainable agriculture. House leaders had said they would pass a one-year version of the farm bill instead, but this week withdrew the proposal and replaced it with an agriculture disaster relief bill.
"It seems House Republicans attitude toward farm policy is 'cut and run'," Pingree said.
The House is scheduled to adjourn for their August recess thisafternoon.
Pingree said she opposes the disaster bill because it would make drastic cuts to conservation programs.
"I'm hopeful that we get a chance to vote on a real farm bill to reform the nation's food policy when we come back in September," Pingree said. "I'm frustrated but I certainly haven't given up."