For over two years, I've fought to pass a long-term extension of the Farm Bill. Traditionally, the Farm Bill has been a bipartisan process, but last week was a reminder that times are different.
Right now the current Farm Bill is living on borrowed time. It expires at the end of September and instead of working to reach a compromise, Congress went home.
Last week, I called on Speaker Boehner to postpone August recess because there was no excuse for Congress to go home until it did its job and passed a comprehensive Farm Bill for President Obama to sign into law. The Senate has passed a comprehensive, bipartisan Farm Bill and the House has passed legislation that could be used to strike a compromise, yet it's sitting in limbo. Unfortunately, Congress headed home leaving the Farm Bill unfinished.
The debacle of passing a Farm Bill has shown Washington at its very worst. Ideology once again stood in the way of progress for our economy and the American people.
I am angry and frustrated at the failure of the House to recognize the importance of a long-term Farm Bill extension to farmers and rural America. Farmers and agricultural producers have waited too long for the certainty that a five-year Farm Bill provides. Without a Farm Bill to provide predictability, it's harder for farmers to invest in the future to create jobs and grow the economy.
I will keep fighting for a comprehensive Farm Bill to be agreed to before it's set to expire in September, but the only way it's going to happen is if Republicans and Democrats support a bipartisan bill. Congress must work together to find common ground not continue playing political games that drive people further apart.
I know that no bill is going to be perfect, but passing a Farm Bill isn't optional it's a necessity for Iowa agriculture producers who need certainty and predictability so they can invest in the future.
Iowa's farmers deserve a five-year bill that ensures a strong crop insurance program, risk management tools for unknown disasters like floods and drought, and support for innovation and technology in an ever-evolving and forward-thinking industry that feeds the world and fuels our economy.
Agriculture producers across America work tirelessly each day to provide safe, abundant, and affordable food to our nation and the world. A comprehensive Farm Bill addresses the needs of all Americans and it's time Congress finally gets to work.