Last night a split Farm Bill was presented the House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee approved a rule for the Bill to go to the floor for consideration without amendments. Right now the House is debating the farm bill and votes are scheduled to take place up to 1:30pm today. This split Farm Bill is opposed by the administration and many sustainable agriculture groups. So what is the problem with the split? The major problem is that the Senate has already passed a comprehensive Farm Bill. If this split bill is passed in the House, it could mean the consideration of three bills to create a piece of legislation that could be submitted to the President for approval. Or, it could mean starting this process all over. Either way, the split does not solve the overall problem—we need a full and fair Farm Bill.
It was pointed out in a recent Rural Coalition grassroots call that this “split” has happened before. In 1981 Sen. Jessie Helms split the Farm Bill during debates. The split did not go over well then either. The nutrition portion was added back to the bill in the House Senate Conference. Seems our House could learn a thing or two from history. Well, back to the debates and votes. In the meantime, if your organization would like to sign on the Rural Coalition’s letter urging Congress to pass a full and fair Farm Bill, they can do so here. Until next….chat with us on Facebook or send us an e-mail.