September 24, 2013

Will We Finally Have a Farm Bill? By: Casey Campbell

The Farm Bill will finally be going to conference now! Can y’all believe it? Despite all the work I did over the summer and all the nights I prayed for a new Farm Bill to pass, I still can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still waking up in the night panicking that somehow all of our effort will be wasted and we’ll end up back with the 2008 bill again, but I’m a heck of a lot more hopeful now. Since the House passed their SNAP half of the Farm Bill my hopes are up, but the clock is still desperately ticking.

We can definitely expect some heat with the Senate’s $4 billion cuts over 10 years versus the House’s $4 billion cuts annually. With not a single Democrat vote for the House’s SNAP Bill Thursday, it will be impossible to pass without lots of compromise. On the positive side, at least the SNAP programs will finally be put back in the Farm Bill like they belong after the House wasted all our time splitting it.

September 30 is coming fast though and House Majority Leader Cantor still hasn’t even named the House members who will be part of the conference with the Senate. Maybe he hasn’t looked at a calendar to see how soon the 2008 bill is expiring, but just cancelling their planned recess for this week is not going to cut it. The Democrats and Republicans, urban districts and rural districts all need to work together. This bill is important for every single American and too much has gone into the bill to just extend the 2008 one again.

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