Congressman Rick Berg today released the following statement after House Speaker John Boehner announced for the first time that the House would address the Farm Bill this year. This is a change of course from previous reports that a Farm Bill might not be considered this Congress at all.
"House Leadership has handled this entire Farm Bill situation poorly since it should have happened months ago. After very frank and pointed conversations with Leadership and demonstrations of strength from our bipartisan coalition over the past several weeks, the pressure to act on a long-term Farm Bill is growing. On the heels of this announcement, our bipartisan coalition will continue to keep up the pressure to demand that Leadership do the right thing and bring the Farm Bill to the floor--we won't stop until this happens."
Berg has been steadfast with his vocal persistence of getting a long term Farm Bill passed. Earlier this week, the Fargo Forum recognized Berg's efforts, stating that, "Few in the House are working harder than Berg to force a vote on farm legislation." They added that, "Berg has pushed hard to get leadership to move. To charge he's not been pulling out all the stops to advance farm legislation is not accurate."
House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R -- Oklahoma) applauded Berg for his ongoing efforts to continue pushing for a Farm Bill.
"With his understanding of agricultural policy and its importance to our nation's economy, Rick Berg is a strong advocate for America's farmers and an effective leader in Washington on behalf of North Dakota's constituents, stated Lucas. "I appreciate his tenacity in pursuing the completion of a farm bill and his efforts to emphasize how important that legislation is for production agriculture and rural America."
Brad Thykeson, President of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association, offered the following statement regarding Berg's efforts:
"With wheat and barley harvest complete, and the fall crops harvested at a record pace, the North Dakota farmer is looking ahead at next year. Without a 5 year Farm Bill in place, a producer cannot make sound decisions about the future of his/her farm. Farmers deserve a five year Farm Bill and we are happy that Congressman Rick Berg refuses to settle for anything less.
"Without direction on farm policy for the next 5 years, farmers will have as much uncertainty about farm programs as they do about the weather and markets. Congressman Berg's efforts to move the Farm Bill through the House are commendable; we appreciate his willingness to take on leadership to get this done. The farm community needs the certainty of a 5 year Farm Bill and Rick clearly gets that."
Tom Lilja, Executive Director of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association, stated "We've seen Congressman Berg continually push for a 5 year farm bill and we know he will continue to fight for us. Congressman Berg is battling against his own leadership, for the benefit of North Dakota.
Berg's efforts were also singled out by Politico, who stated that he "helped to trigger the whips' discussion [and] grayer heads--and traditional team players-- backed him up including Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.), as well as House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)."