The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is working with a bipartisan group of senators and other farm and agriculture organizations to urge Senate leaders to bring the pending 2012 Farm Bill legislation to a vote this spring.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 44 Senators urged that the farm bill be brought to a vote as soon as possible. If Senate action is delayed, it greatly diminishes the chance that the House of Representatives will make time to act on the Farm Bill yet in 2012 – meaning that important changes in dairy policy will not come to fruition this year.
In the letter circulated by Agriculture Committee members Max Baucus (D-MT) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), along with Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the Senate leadership is told: “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. We very much appreciate your recognition of the need for timely action on the farm bill.”
The Senate leadership received a similar letter from farm groups last week, when NMPF joined more than 125 other agricultural organizations in pointing out how important it is to act on the farm bill quickly. That letter pointed out to Reid and McConnell that the farm bill “is one piece of legislation upon which all Americans depend, urban as well as rural. With limited time remaining before expiration of current program authorities, time is of the essence. While each of our respective organizations will continue to work to accomplish our key priorities, the farm bill must move forward.”
NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak said that “the clock is ticking on our opportunity to get a farm bill done in 2012. We appreciate the display of bipartisan effort by senators from across the country to move this legislation forward.”