As Congress wraps up one of the last weeks of business before Election Day, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind called on his Republican colleagues to stop playing games and bring a Farm Bill to the House floor.
"It's time to stop kicking the can down the road on the Farm Bill," said Rep. Kind. "It's our responsibility to take a real look at our farm programs, reform what is not working, end huge taxpayer subsidies that distort the market and do not help family farmers, and pass a food and farm bill for the 21st century."
Republican leadership has refused to bring a Farm Bill to the House floor, despite the bill moving through the House Agriculture Committee on July 11. Prior to that, the Senate passed their farm bill on June 21, with enough time for the House to take up the legislation before programs are set to expire on September 30, 2012.
The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program, which since the 2008 Farm Bill has compensated dairy producers when domestic milk prices have fallen below a specific level, is also set to expire this month. Expiration of this program leaves Wisconsin's 12,000 dairy farmers vulnerable to future price shocks.
"Our family farmers deserve a Farm Bill that provides the resources they depend on," said Rep. Kind. "Following the worst drought we've seen in decades, we must give our farmers emergency assistance where necessary and provide them with the certainty they need in planning their operations. It's time for Republicans to bring the Farm Bill to the House floor."
Rep. Kind has long been an advocate for reforming Farm Bill programs. He played a significant role in the 2007 Farm Bill through his amendment to reform wasteful taxpayer funded farm subsidies going to large agribusinesses. Kind is co-chair of the bipartisan National Parks Caucus, founding member of the Wildlife Refuge Caucus, and member of both the Organic Caucus and Congressional Dairy Caucus. Kind served on the House Natural Resources Committee from 1996-2010.