WASHINGTON (WWJ) Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, is lashing out at House Republicans following a failure to vote on the farm bill, saying they should have been able to devote just one day to rural America and the 16 million jobs that rely on agriculture.

The House allowed the farm bill to expire.

“When we get back after the (November) election, it has to be the top priority because our farmers need to know how to plan for next year and every single one of our counties is under disaster assistance declaration because of the deep freeze or the drought,” said Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the House acted quickly to pass urgent disaster aid for livestock producers and says it’s disappointing that Stabenow and other senate Democrats chose to ignore that bipartisan bill.  Stabenow countered that farmers need a five-year sustainable bill, not just disaster aid.

And if it doesn’t happen? She says if a long-term bill isn’t approved, it could affect milk prices as soon as January.

“One (bill) relates to the drought and support for our growers to help them with dollars to offset their losses and then for those in the food industry that don’t have access to crop insurance,” Stabenow said. “We would be providing them some direct assistance to offset their losses.”


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