U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson today pushed for adoption of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, saying "the heartland is in distress" by those blocking action on the new farm bill.
In a floor speech Thursday evening, Rep. Johnson argued for House passage of the bill that has been stalled since the House Agriculture Committee passed it in a bipartisan vote in July. As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, Rep. Johnson played a pivotal role in the development of the legislation.
"Farmers in the 15th District of Illinois are some of the most productive and efficient in the world," Rep. Johnson said. "I meet with them regularly and my office has been inundated with calls from them. It is not just farmers we are hearing from. It's conservation groups, agri-business, rural banks, livestock producers and specialty crop growers. Inaction has broad ripple effects throughout our economy. They speak with one voice in pleading for action now.
"After facing a historic drought this year, farmers saw tremendous drops in yields and profit margins. But they had a safety net -- crop insurance -- to protect against losses. Now they are planning 2013 crops. Without action soon, without enactment of a new safety net, producers in my district and across the country are facing uncertainty and possibly dire consequences. Make no mistake, this isn't just about farmers. Inaction will affect us all, both in the prices we pay at the grocery store and our ability to help feed the world."