Congress only has a few days to vote on a farm bill that’ll shape agricultural policy for the next five years. Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry.
Congress puts together a new farm bill every five years. It’s sweeping policy that covers everything from crop insurance to farm subsidies to food stamps. The U.S. Senate passed the farm bill back in June, but leaders in the House haven’t brought the bill up for a vote. The current farm bill expires at the end of the month.
"They have got to act because it has got to get done,” says U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, who chairs the agriculture committee. “There’s disaster assistance in here for Michigan growers who were hit by freeze and drought and we have a five-year policy that farmers need to know is in place for them."
Stabenow insists there’s enough support for the farm bill to pass, if only Republican leaders would allow a vote.
House Republicans appear divided over some of the farm subsidies in the bill, and over the size of cuts to the food stamp program.