Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has suggested House Speaker John Boehner should take up the farm bill approved by the Senate since the House was unable to get the job done on its own measure. Reid said doing nothing means no reform, no deficit reduction and no certainty for millions of American farm industry workers. And according to Reid – the Senate will not pass another temporary farm bill extension.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says Reid was right to say Congress shouldn’t extend the 2008 Farm Bill again. First of all – Vilsack says an extension won’t resolve the Brailian cotton case or include a range of farm and rural programs. In addition – Vilsack says an extension won’t provide drought aid to livestock producers, revive programs for specialty crops and organic and local farming, renew expired energy development programs, streamline conservation programs, create a new and better program for dairy farmers, or help beginning and veteran farmers. What’s more – an extension wouldn’t include commodity program reform. According to Vilsack – the failure of the House to pass the farm bill last week sent a message that the House leadership and the House generally don’t want to do their job. He says an extension is the easy way to handle the farm bill.