On Monday, August 6, 2012, U.S. House Agriculture Committee member Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that Secretary Vilsack respond with a list of specific priorities for the Farm Bill. In the letter, Congressman Huelskamp explained that while Sec. Vilsack is complaining about a possible one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, Vilsack and Obama have failed to offer any alternatives. Congressman Huelskamp gave Sec. Vilsack until Monday, August 13, 2012 to respond. As of Wednesday, August 15, 2012, Vilsack still refuses to identify any farm bill specifics.
"While of course I am disappointed in the lack of response, I cannot say I am surprised," Congressman Huelskamp said. "Sec. Vilsack, the USDA, and President Obama would rather play political games -- amidst campaigning in Iowa for both the President and the Secretary's wife -- than offer real policy proposals. They are so short-sighted to run around clamoring about the need for a Farm Bill, but care not a single bit that the Senate adjourned without a vote on a critical disaster relief package."
"Left unstated, perhaps we should assume that the Obama Administration wishes to continue the trends of their term in office. Whether it be vastly expanding the food stamps rolls by 45%, continuing the regulatory assault on our farms and ranches, or supporting a huge increase in the death tax at the end year, we must assume the Administration wants to continue these policies in the next Farm Bill. While he missed my deadline, I hope Vilsack will take the time to respond and let America's farmers and ranchers know what an Obama Farm Bill would actually look like."
Congressman Huelskamp released a video about what President Obama and Secretary Vilsack's video would look like if we continued current policies of this Administration.