Nothing is more important to me than passing a five year Farm Bill that gives Arkansas producers the security they need. I was proud to join Democrats and Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee to pass the Farm Bill out of committee. At a time when many Americans have lost faith in the ability of Congress to accomplish great things, the House Agriculture Committee is an example of what can be done when partisan politics are put aside in favor of sound policy.
This month I will be traveling our First District listening to the challenges families are facing with record drought conditions. Even though Congress did pass an important drought relief package, I will not stop working until a Farm Bill is signed into law. Instead of attending my party's national convention, I will be in Arkansas ensuring farm families are getting the help they need from federal and state agencies. Arkansans are experiencing the worst drought in more than three decades, and my staff and I will be assisting producers as they cope with this terrible natural disaster.
In July, I joined a bipartisan group of 62 House members urging House leaders to bring the Farm Bill to a vote. The House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill by a strong bipartisan vote of 35 to 11. In a letter to Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, I requested floor time to consider the bill so that it can be debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law before the current Farm Bill expires on September 30th. The letter was signed by 38 Republicans and 24 Democrats.
Additionally, in a continued effort to urge leaders in Washington to pass a Farm Bill, I will be signing a discharge petition that will push the Farm Bill toward a final vote. In joining my colleagues on advancing the discharge petition, I am working to put farm families in Arkansas ahead of Washington's partisan politics. Nothing is more important to me than passing a five year Farm Bill and I will not rest until legislation is signed into law.
House leaders must acknowledge the role farm families play in our nation's economy. The success story of Arkansas and American agriculture can continue if Congress acts to pass sound policies. The message from my constituents and rural America is clear: we need a Farm Bill now. The Farm Bill needs to be a priority of the House as it is critically important to Arkansas. It is essential that the House vote on a five year Farm Bill before current legislation expires.