A coalition of about a dozen agriculture groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Farmers Union, and the National Milk Producers Federation has urged Senate leaders to “refrain from supporting” any legislation resembling the House-passed disaster bill should it come up in the Senate. This news release from the AFBF says the letter sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) states that “such a measure would detract from the larger mission of passing a long-term farm bill.”
“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 current farm bill expires at the end of this month, and the group makes the case that the Senate and House versions of the new farm bill have the provisions for disaster relief with long-term benefits.