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Farm Bill: Politics Replaces Policy


Location: Washington, DC

Since my election to Congress I have talked about the importance of passing a Farm Bill that would give farm families in Arkansas and across the country the security they need to continue producing the safest, most affordable and abundant supply of food on the planet. Unfortunately, election year politics have gotten in the way of enacting sound policies on which rural America depends. Some in Congress think that putting their electoral ambitions ahead of the needs of our farmers and ranchers will score political points. In the House of Representatives, I am working to put your interests ahead of Washington politics.

Nothing is more important to me than passing a five year Farm Bill that gives Arkansas producers the security they need. I was proud to join Democrats and Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee to pass the Farm Bill out of committee. At a time when many Americans have lost faith in the ability of Congress to accomplish great things, the House Agriculture Committee is an example of what can be done when partisan politics are put aside in favor of sound policy.

Additionally, in a continued effort to urge leaders in Washington to pass a Farm Bill, I signed a discharge petition to push the Farm Bill toward a final vote. In August I held a Farm Tour that took me to all corners of our district advocating responsible farm policy. In the House of Representatives I have spoken out about the need to vote on and pass a Farm Bill. Over the last several months I have pinned numerous editorials about the importance of a Farm Bill to Arkansas producers.

The message from my constituents is clear: we need a Farm Bill now. It's a shame that farm policy has become a political wedge issue. Historically farm legislation has been crafted in a bipartisan fashion. The reality is that there is no Republican Farm Bill or Democrat Farm Bill. The major differences in policy are really based on regional crop differences not political parties. The success story of Arkansas and American agriculture can continue if Congress acts to pass sound policies. Instead of heading home to campaign, I would much rather be working to pass a Farm Bill that is so critical to rural communities across our district. I can think of no better way to grow our rural economy than by passing a five-year farm bill that would give farm families in Arkansas and across the country the certainty and security they deserve.

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