Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) are leading a bipartisan group of over 75 House members urging House leaders to bring the Farm Bill (H.R. 6083) to a vote before August. The House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill by a strong bipartisan vote of 35 to 11 on July 12th.
In a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Noem, Welch and their colleagues are requesting floor time to consider the bill so that it can be debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law before the current Farm Bill expires on September 30th.
In their letter, the Members write, "The message from our constituents and rural America is clear: we need a farm bill now. We ask that you bring a farm bill up before the August District Work Period so that the House will have the opportunity to work its will. We ask that you make this legislation a priority of the House as it is critically important to rural and urban Americans alike."
The full letter is copied below. Signers include Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Robert Schilling (R-Ill.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), David Loebsack (D-Iowa), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Jeff Landry (R-La.), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La), Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Candice Miller (R-Mich), Bill Cassidy (R-Lou.), Francisco "Quico" Canseco (R-Tx.), Scott Tipton (R-Co.), Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), John Olver (D-Ma.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Dave Camp (R-Mi.), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Nan Hayworth (N.Y.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.).
Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Democratic Leader Pelosi and Democratic Whip Hoyer:
Many current farm bill policies expire on September 30, 2012. The House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act, or the 2012 Farm Bill, on July 12th with a strong bipartisan vote of 35-11. While by no means perfect, this farm bill is needed for producers and those who rely on sound agriculture policy and nutrition programs during difficult economic times.
The House Agriculture Committee has done its work and we now ask that you make time on the floor of the House to consider this legislation, so that it can be debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law, before the current bill expires. We need to continue to tell the American success story of agriculture and work to ensure we have strong policies in place so that producers can continue to provide an abundant, affordable and safe food supply.
We all share the goal of giving small businesses certainty in these challenging economic times. Agriculture supports nearly 16 million jobs nationwide and over 45 million people are helped each year by the nutrition programs in the farm bill. We have a tremendous opportunity to set the course of farm and nutrition policy for another five years while continuing to maintain and support these jobs nationwide.
The message from our constituents and rural America is clear: we need a farm bill now. We ask that you bring a farm bill up before the August District Work Period so that the House will have the opportunity to work its will. We ask that you make this legislation a priority of the House as it is critically important to rural and urban Americans alike.
We appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to working with you to advance the FARRM Act.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress