Merkley denounces House’s inaction on Farm Bill
Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today denounced the House of Representatives’ failure to pass a farm bill before adjourning for the election. This is the first time since 1949 that Congress has allowed the nation’s farm programs to expire.
“I thought it was unacceptable when the House didn’t pass the farm bill before the August recess, but allowing these programs to expire is completely irresponsible,” said Merkley. “Our farmers and ranchers in Oregon rely on the farm bill and the uncertainty is hurting our economy. And those affected by the historic wildfires in Oregon are still waiting for disaster relief assistance included in the bill. I can’t believe that the House is unwilling to pass bipartisan legislation, especially the farm bill.”
The farm bill passed the Senate in June 2012 with a strong bipartisan vote of 64-35 and included two key provisions that Senator Merkley sponsored. One improves crop insurance for organic farmers and the other provides low-cost loans for energy efficiency renovations of homes and businesses in rural areas. The Senate passed farm bill also includes extensions of crucial disaster relief programs that Merkley has been fighting for. These are essential for Oregon’s farmers and ranchers affected by wildfires and drought.