Congress Returns, But Farm Bill Unlikely to Reach House Floor

US - Congress is back in session this week following its five-week recess, but legislators will only be in Washington for a few legislative days. Some farm groups are pressuring members of Congress to act quickly to pass the Farm Bill, which, in its current form, includes the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, a supply management provision.
calendar icon 14 September 2012
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) opposes supply management and supports a margin insurance programme for dairy farmers that wouldn’t require limits to milk production.

While it is not likely that Congress will have time to pass the Farm Bill, IDFA will continue to reach out to key congressional offices and prepare as if the bill will be considered soon. IDFA is calling for the Farm Bill to be considered under regular order, allowing amendments, rather than a closed rule, which would restrict them.

"Our position remains that if the Farm Bill moves to the floor of the House, it must be in an open process that would allow Representatives Bob Goodlatte and David Scott to offer an amendment to strike supply management," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs.

"With the support of Speaker John Boehner and other representatives, both Republicans and Democrats, IDFA believes the amendment can win and would send a strong signal to the Senate to drop the controversial stabilization programme from its bill."

IDFA encourages members to contact their members of Congress to urge them to oppose the supply management provision and to support an open process.

Although the 2008 Farm Bill expires on September 30, Congress could temporarily extend the current bill or even do nothing at all. Other Farm Bills have expired without Congress taking action. IDFA believes the Farm Bill will be a topic during the lame duck session.

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