Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, issued the following statement regarding the House Agriculture Committee’s approval of the 2012 Farm Bill. The Senate version of the bill, which represents the most significant reform of agricultural policy in decades and cuts spending by more than $23 billion, was adopted with strong bipartisan support by the full Senate last month on a 64-35 vote.
“I applaud the House Agriculture Committee, and its Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, for keeping Congress on track to pass a new Farm Bill by the September 30 deadline. Now that the House Agriculture Committee has acted, House leadership should swiftly bring this bill to the floor. American agriculture supports more than 16 million jobs across the nation and represents a bright spot in our economy. With droughts and weather disasters plaguing America’s agriculture economy, failure to pass a Farm Bill or passing a short-term extension would add even more uncertainty and stress onto American farm families and small businesses.
“Letting current farm policy expire and reverting back to the policy of the 1940s or kicking the can down the road with a short-term extension will not only hurt our economy, it will also mean a lost opportunity to enact major reforms in farm policy and substantial spending cuts.”