WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives will recess on Dec. 13, presenting another looming deadline for farm bill completion this year. National Farmers Union (NFU) has continued to send a clear message to members of the Farm Bill Conference Committee: we need a farm bill now.
“The 113th Congress is making history for the wrong reasons,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Their lack of action on so many pieces of legislation has made them one of the least productive in history. There is still time, however, to take action and complete the farm bill under the steady leadership of the Senate and House agriculture committees.”
NFU sent a letter to the members of the conference committee earlier this year outlining its grassroots-driven policy priorities, including:
- Maintaining permanent farm bill law;
- Establishing fixed reference prices for commodity programs;
- Opposing any legislative changes to Country-of-Origin Labeling;
- Enacting an inventory management tool as part of the dairy safety net;
- Providing $900 million in mandatory funding for renewable energy funding; and
- Including adequate funding levels for the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program.
“There has been talk of passing extensions for portions of the bill, including dairy programs,” said Johnson. “This approach is wasting precious time and not providing certainty or reform. Instead of picking and choosing issues or putting off a real solution, the best approach for all Americans is to finish a comprehensive bill so that the president can sign it into law this year. We urge the members of the conference to come to a principled agreement and have a draft available for consideration as soon as possible.'
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.