Today, Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) released the following statement after the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee announced the House of Representatives would take no further action to reauthorize expiring Farm Bill programs until after the November 6th election.
I'm deeply disappointed the House Republican leadership has decided to let the Farm Bill lapse. The House Agriculture Committee and Full U.S. Senate have both passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize critical expiring farm programs, like pest detection, research and marketing programs that I helped get included in the last bill and that greatly benefit Central Coast farmers and ranchers. The time is now to pass comprehensive legislation that will continue and improve these important programs and provide certainty for our local agriculture industry. Everyone knows we must update the current law in order to better support rural economic development, nutrition programs, as well as critical conservation initiatives. But that can't happen if the leadership in the House refuses to even bring a Farm Bill up for a vote. This is about creating jobs and moving our agriculture economy forward. We need a good Farm Bill and we need it now."
The Senate approved a bipartisan Farm Bill in June, and despite the House Agriculture Committee having also passed bipartisan legislation, it has not been brought to the floor for debate, marking the first time in nearly fifty years that a Farm Bill passed by the Agriculture Committee will not be considered by the full House of Representatives.
September 30th marks the expiration of the current Farm Bill and along with it, the funds that support important fruit and vegetable programs, like pest and disease management, research, and marketing. A recent opinion piece by the California Farm Bureau highlights the importance of Farm Bill programs to California farmers and ranchers and why they should not be allowed to expire.
Capps has signed a petition on the House floor to force an immediate debate on the Farm Bill, and also sent a bipartisan letter to the Speaker asking him to bring the measure up for a vote before the current law expires.