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Ag Groups ask House to vote on farm bill

DANIEL LOOKER 07/13/2012 @ 1:02pm Business Editor

A letter calling for a farm bill vote was sent to the leadership of the House of Representatives today by 46 national farm, commodity, financial, conservation, rural, religious, and research organizations.

The letter, addressed to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), asks for floor time to be scheduled soon for a vote on the bill that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee after a marathon markup session that ended early Thursday morning.

"The 2012 Farm Bill is among the most important pieces of legislation Congress will consider this year," the letter says.  "The Senate and the House Agriculture Committees have completed their jobs and delivered new, comprehensive bills.  Recognizing that time is short before the Sept. 30 expiration of the current farm bill, we urge you to schedule time for floor consideration of the bill as quickly as possible."

"While representing a wide range of interests, we are united in our view that the bill should receive floor time and be finalized this year, on schedule.  We reject calls for delay and believe that extension of the current bill does not adequately address the needs of farmers, ranchers, foresters, those in need of food assistance at home and abroad, conservation, rural communities, or food and agricultural research," the ag groups said.

The letter was organized by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, two groups that aren't always on the same side in farm bill issues. Other groups signing the letter included American Soybean Association, Crop Science Society of America, Environmental Defense Fund, Farm Credit Council, National Association of Wheat Growers,National Corn Growers Association, and National Farmers Union.

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