Senators urge leaders to bring Farm Bill to floor

By Kris Bevill | May 16, 2012

Forty-four senators wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on May 15, urging them to bring the 2012 Farm Bill to the Senate floor for consideration as soon as possible. In the letter the senators commended the Senate Agriculture Committee for displaying bipartisan fiscal responsibility in passing a Farm Bill that reduces government spending while keeping in place meaningful ag-related programs and said they believe there is strong support in the full Senate to consider the bill in a manner which will allow senators the opportunity to offer amendments. “We need to act soon to complete a farm bill in 2012 and provide certainty for farmers, ranchers, rural communities, other stakeholders and all Americans,” the senators wrote.

The draft Farm Bill recently passed by the Senate Ag Committee provides $800 million for biofuels and renewable energy-related programs over the next five years, an inclusion that received widespread gratitude from industry groups. Without reauthorization in this year’s Farm Bill, Energy Title programs including the Biorefinery Assistance Program and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program will expire on Sept. 30.