The Senate officially passed its version of the US Farm Bill yesterday, throwing the ball in the court of the House of Representatives.
We want to thank everyone who took actions – whether it was sending emails, signing petitions or making phone calls – to put pressure on their Senators. Due to the high levels of partisan politics last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was forced to push through a cloture vote, meaning that discussion on additional amendments was cut short.
The bill passed with a vote of 66-27, with 18 Republicans and a large majority of Democrats voting to approve it. You can see how your Senator voted using the Senate vote-tracker website.
The next step in the Farm Bill process is for the House to pick up their version of the bill, which already made it through the House Agriculture Committee, later in June. We have- as of right now – reached the farthest point along the process that was reached last summer, when election cycle politics kicked in and the processed stalled out. (Leaving us to start from scratch again this year!)
This summer, however, there is much more of a focus on getting bill done, especially after the negative backlash that came from last winter’s temporary extension.
Just as in the Senate, beginning farmers have a number of energetic supporters amongst the House membership. Their enthusiasm, however, will be tempered by the desire to radically cut spending across the board. As we get closer to the end of the month – when the House is scheduled to begin debate – we’ll need to stand strong together to push our elected leaders to pass a fair and just Farm Bill. Stay tuned!