Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today issued the following statement regarding the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill and House Republican leadership's refusal to bring up the 2012 Farm Bill for consideration -- which passed both the full Senate and the House Agriculture Committee with strong, bipartisan support. The 2008 Farm Bill will expire on Sept. 30 and agriculture policy will begin to revert to "permanent law" -- a patchwork of outdated subsidies and costly price controls set in the 1940s. The country's dairy farmers will be among the first impacted, which could cause the price of milk to increase.
"It is unbelievable that we're in this position now where the Farm Bill will expire and create so much uncertainty for farmers, ranchers, and small businesses. The Senate came together in a bipartisan way and we passed the Farm Bill. The House Agriculture Committee came together in a bipartisan way to pass a Farm Bill. It's absolutely unacceptable that the House Republican leadership couldn't devote just one day to rural America and the 16 million jobs across the country that rely on agriculture."
"Families across the country cannot afford to see the price of milk skyrocket because the House Republican leadership didn't get its work done. In the next few months, we transition to permanent law, a collection of policies from the 1930s and 1940s that are ill-suited to the way farmers work today. When those policies kick in over the next few months, it will be farmers and families who truly pay the price for the House Republicans' inaction."
"We aren't giving up. As soon as Congress comes back, the Farm Bill needs to be a top priority in the House of Representatives. I hope that the House Republican leadership will devote the first day back to creating jobs in rural America and cities across the country. Farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and our entire economy will continue to be impacted every day they do not act."