|An Extension is Not the Answer to Stalled Farm Bill|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement amid talks of an extension to the 2008 Farm Bill:
“There has been discussion on Capitol Hill that an extension would be a solution to farm program legislation as we approach the Sept. 30 expiration of the one-year extension already passed last year to the 2008 Farm Bill. This is not an acceptable solution.
“An extension will not solve the issue of uncertainty that U.S. family farmers and ranchers are facing each day that we continue to not have a new farm bill. If Congress again extends current law, indefensible policies such as direct payments to farmers regardless of commodity prices will continue, costing $8 to 10 billion over the next two years.
“We need the U.S. House of Representatives to name its members to the conference committee so that the group can begin work to put the final pieces of a five-year, comprehensive bill together. The final bill must include nutrition programs, which were stripped from the House version of the bill passed earlier this year. It must also include an adequate safety net to protect in times of need, a strong energy title, and provisions for beginning farmer and rancher programs, among other things. The conference committee must also reinstate existing permanent law fallback provisions.
“Organizations calling for an extension at this time do not have the interests of family farmers, ranchers, fisherman and hungry Americans in mind. NFU will continue to work with members of Congress to urge swift action so that we do not continue in this environment of inaction and uncertainty.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.