Leahy Is Among 42 Senators Making Bipartisan Call For Timely Debate On The 2012 Farm Bill

‘We need to provide certainty for farmers, ranchers, rural communities’

WASHINGTON -- With the clock running out on current agriculture policies authorized in the last Farm Bill, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is part a bipartisan group of 42 senators who this week called on their leaders on both sides of the aisle to cooperate in scheduling floor debate on the next Farm Bill.

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a proposed 2012 Farm Bill on April 26 in a strong bipartisan vote of 16 to 5.  Leahy is the committee’s most senior member and a past chairman of the panel.  The bill includes several provisions advanced by Leahy that are particularly important to Vermont, including a new dairy program featuring new risk management tools for dairy farmers. 

The letter, sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was initiated by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).  Also signing the letter was Vermont’s other senator, Bernie Sanders (I).

In the letter, the senators said:  “With our constant focus on job creation, we write to urge you to schedule floor consideration of the ‘Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012’ as soon as possible.  The bill takes steps to reduce the deficit and decrease government spending by $23 billion.  It passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on April 26 with a bipartisan vote of 16 to 5.  This sets an example of how senators can come together in a bipartisan way to craft meaningful, yet fiscally responsible, policy. …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 signed letter is available here.

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