Members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation and candidates for U.S. Senate expressed disappointment Thursday that a new farm bill won’t be passed until later this fall at the earliest.
Congress adjourns today and won’t be back in session before the current five-year bill expires Sept. 30. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday the farm bill will be dealt with in November after the election.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said he was disappointed in what he called a “significant failure” by House Republican leadership in stalling the legislation.
“I think it represents a significant failure on the part of the House of Representatives,” Conrad said. “This is really the Republican leadership’s responsibility in the House, plain and simple. I don’t know of any kind way to say it.”
In late June, the Senatewas able to pass its version of a farm bill by a 64-35 vote, with 16 Republicans crossing the aisle. Both North Dakota senators, Conrad and Republican John Hoeven, voted yes. Both also are members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
The Senate bill contains $23 billion in deficit reduction, including $4 billion to food stamps. The Senate bill also includes a supplemental coverage option that adds to crop insurance. Farmers can utilize the option to purchase a supplemental policy beyond their individual farm-based policy.
It also contains a provision covering multiple-year losses. The program works with farm insurance to cover between 11 percent and 21 percent of a farmer’s historic five-year average revenue, based on price and yield. The Senate bill also eliminates the direct payment program to farmers.
The House Agriculture Committee took up its own version of the farm bill. A House version of the bill passed out of committee on July 12 but Republican House leadership has since refused to bring the bill to the floor.
The House bill has deeper cuts than the Senate bill. The House version includes approximately $35 billion in savings, $16 billion of which comes in food stamp cuts.
Hoeven said he will continue to push for a five-year
You can read the rest of this article at: http://www.tristateneighbor.com/news/regional/article_2ecc7882-03ff-11e2-9ce7-001a4bcf887a.html