AFBF, Others Urge Senate to Refrain from Disaster Bill
Washington--The American Farm Bureau Federation on Friday urged Senate leaders to “refrain from supporting” any legislation resembling the House-passed disaster bill if such a measure is presented in the Senate.
Supporting such a measure would detract from the larger mission of passing a long-term farm bill. In a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), AFBF and a dozen other national agriculture organizations said that passing the House disaster bill as a quick fix would do more harm than good to farmers and ranchers.
“This is something our groups do not support,” the letter stated. “We strongly urge you to refrain from this as we fear that passage of a bill similar to the House bill could result in further delays in completing a full five-year farm bill.”
According to the group, in comparison to a disaster bill, completing a five-year farm bill would deliver assistance to eligible livestock producers nearly as quickly and would put into place certainty for future years, and it is paid for in both the House and Senate versions. This highlights the House disaster bill’s $600 million price tag, which clearly would impact funding available for long-term agriculture needs. The group urged the Senate leaders to reach agreement on a new farm bill before the current program expires on Sept. 30.