Like many predicted, the house could not pass a new farm bill before their five-week recess, which does not end until after Labor day. With the current farm bill expiring September 30th, the House must act fast after their vacation to pass a new five-year farm bill. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) stated in an op-ed last week that if the House fails to pass a bill before the deadline, our energy security will be threatened. They went on to say that they favor the Senate’s version, and called the House’s version a “death sentence” to the bioenergy programs necessary for energy security. Unfortunately it is unlikely that the Republicans in the House will pass a long term farm bill because they passed a short term bill extension before the recess.
But in hopeful news, with members of the House headed home for the district work period, specifically in drought affected states, their angry constituents will let their voice be heard and demand that Congress do its job.
With the House on vacation, there is unfortunately not much more to report on the progress of the farm bill. However, it still interesting to point out some potential changes in the new bill and how big of an affect they could have on people in our country.
While the House Agriculture Committee last month passed the Farm bill that included programs which support families in need of nutrition aid, the House Republicans are still insisting on cutting $16.5 billion from food stamps-said to be our nation’s most important anti-hunger program. In 2010, food stamps kept 4 million Americans over the poverty line, more than another benefit from the program.
And even though the Senate version of the bill is more well-liked overall, it still cuts $4.5 billion from food stamps.
UPDATE: Obama calls on Congress to pass Farm Bill to provide disaster aid for Midwest drought. Follow this link for more!
Take action: Sign the Hazon petition for sustainable food systems.
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