Hopes were raised – then quickly dashed – for some House action this week – at least related to the farm bill. Now it appears Congress will leave for elections without even extending existing farm law. Republicans were toying with a face-saving three-month extension of the 2008 Farm Bill – set to expire September 30th – but even that is not before the Rules Committee – which must clear major bills with a rule for debate – and a spokesman did not expect a change – short of an unlikely last-minute emergency meeting.
At the American Farm Bureau Federation – Deputy Director Dale Moore had this…
“I would say that is pretty consistent with what we are hearing. No one seems to indicate that the committee is getting close to bringing anything up before they adjourn, that includes anything related to the farm bill or the disaster bill.”
Executive Director of the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association is quite put out with lack of congressional action on the farm bill, and expressed his frustration this way:
“Any congressman in North Carolina that doesn’t vote for a farm bill to get in place as soon as they get to Washington, and push for the same for their colleagues, they need to resign from congress.”
Without a farm bill before the end of the month – National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer says it will enter sequestration – which he says isn’t necessarily a good thing…
“We worked hard this whole year to get the farm bill done, and we do have $23 billion of cuts that we are taking in the Senate and $35 billion over a period of ten years in the House. The problem is, if we don’t pass a farm bill now, those numbers will continue to sky rocket when we come back from the election.”
Republican Representatives Introduce Legislation to Eliminate New School Lunch Changes
U.S. Department of Agriculture released new guidelines for school lunches saying children in kindergarten through fifth grade can be served meals with up to 650 calories, sixth through eighth graders up to 700 calories, and high schoolers up to 850 calories. Steve King, Representative from Iowa has introduced H.R. 6418 – legislation to repeal the guidelines. King says these new rules are basically putting every child on a diet – and sponsor of King’s legislation Kansas Representative Tim Huelskamp says the guidelines are a perfect example of what’s wrong with the government explaining that the guidelines leave children hungry at school – a complaint he has heard from his parent constituents.
Stay Safe, Farmers, and Recognize National Farm Safety and Health Week
This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week – and this year’s theme – Agricultural Safety and Health: A Family Affair – focuses on family farms. The majority of the agricultural industry is still based on families – according to International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health President George Cook. Agriculture is more than seven times as dangerous as other U.S. industries – with 621 fatalities in 2010. The Society encourages everyone to promote awareness of safety solutions all year long.