While in Boise, Idaho on Thursday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) publicly committed to holding a vote on the 2012 farm bill after the election. The commitment comes nearly a month after Congress let the last farm bill expire.
“I’m committed to bring the issue to the floor and then to see a way forward so we can get the votes to pass [a bill],” said Cantor while at a campaign stop to support Rep. Paul Labrador (R-ID), according to a report in the Idaho Statesman. Cantor explained that he didn’t bring the farm bill to the floor of the House before October recess because “we don’t have the votes on the floor,” according to the paper.
The Senate passed a farm bill with broad bipartisan support in June.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) lauded Cantor’s comments late Thursday.
“I’m very pleased to hear that Majority Leader Cantor is now committed to bring the Farm Bill to the floor immediately after the election. America’s farmers, ranchers, small businesses and 16 million Americans employed in agriculture desperately need the certainty and disaster relief the Farm Bill provides,” said Stabenow in a statement. “We passed a bipartisan Farm Bill that reforms farm programs and cuts $23 billion in spending. I hope our colleagues in the House of Representatives will follow that lead with a bipartisan approach to this legislation. It is critical that we are able to finalize the Farm Bill before the beginning of next year when farm programs begin to expire, which would impact milk and food prices for families.”
The Senate version of the farm bill would also repeal the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s fledgling catfish inspection program, which the Government Accountability Office has deemed costly and impractical. So far, the House has not made a similar move.© Food Safety News