July 18, 2012
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Cantor, and Minority Whip Hoyer,
Many current farm bill policies expire on September 30, 2012. The House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act, or the 2012 Farm Bill, on July 12th with a strong bipartisan vote of 35-11. While by no means perfect, this farm bill is needed for producers and those who rely on sound agriculture policy and nutrition programs during difficult economic times.
The House Agriculture Committee has done its work and we now ask that you make time on the floor of the House to consider this legislation, so that it can be debated, conferenced, and ultimately passed into law, before the current bill expires. We need to continue to tell the American success story of agriculture and work to ensure we have strong policies in place so that producers can continue to provide an abundant, affordable and safe food supply.
We all share the goal of giving small businesses certainty in these challenging economic times. Agriculture supports nearly 16 million jobs nationwide and over 45 million people are helped each year by the nutrition programs in the farm bill. We have a tremendous opportunity to set the course of farm and nutrition policy for another five years while continuing to maintain and support these jobs nationwide.
The message from our constituents and rural America is clear: we need a farm bill now. We ask that you bring the farm bill up before the August District Work Period so that the House will have the opportunity to work its will. We ask that you make this legislation a priority of the House as it is critically important to rural and urban Americans alike.
We appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to working with you to advance the FARRM Act.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers