Vote Needed on House Farm Bill

In a matter of weeks many current farm bill policies will expire. To protect farm families and Arkansas’s rural economy, Congress must work to complete a 2012 Farm Bill. This week I joined a bipartisan group of House members urging leadership to vote on the House Farm Bill before current legislation expires.

For the better part of the last year the House Agriculture Committee has worked in a bipartisan fashion to craft a fiscally responsible Farm Bill that will work for farm families across the country. Last week, Democrats and Republicans on the Agriculture Committee joined together 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.

Now is the time for House leadership to acknowledge the role farm families play in our nation’s economy. The success story of Arkansas and American agriculture can continue if Congress acts to pass sound policies. The House Agriculture Committee has done its work and this week a bipartisan group of lawmakers are calling on our leaders to make time on the floor of the House to consider this legislation. We need a Farm Bill that has been debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law, before the current bill expires.

As our economy works to recover, it is essential that Congress gives small businesses certainty in challenging economic times. Agriculture supports nearly 16 million jobs nationwide and thousands in Arkansas. 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 my constituents and rural America is clear: we need a Farm Bill now. It is essential that Congress vote on a Farm Bill before the August District Work Period so that the House will have the opportunity to work its will. The Farm Bill needs to be a priority of the House as it is critically important to rural and urban Americans alike.

I am hopeful the bill will then move to the House floor for final passage. Passing this bill will ensure that American farm families can continue producing the safest, most reliable and abundant supply of food on the planet.

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