Farm bill gets last-minute push in House

Sept. 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Both Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives say they are making a last attempt to pass a farm bill before Congress recesses.

The bill was approved by the House Agriculture Committee in July but has since been bogged down by reported indifference on the part of Republican leadership and policy differences with Democrats, The Hill reported Friday.

Top-ranking Republicans say the bill doesn't have enough votes to pass. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday the House will tackle the five-year farm bill after the elections, reiterating the bill doesn't have the votes to pass now.

Supporters from farm states disagree. They say they have been canvassing House members, asking if they would vote for the bill as it was approved by the committee.

They've added 64 names to a petition drawn up by Democrats to force House leaders to move the bill to the floor. The petition needs 218 signatures.

The Senate approved the bill in June but, because of differences between the House and Senate versions, the legislation would have to be reconsidered again by both chambers.

Though there is bipartisan support for the bill, it has its critics. Conservatives are alarmed at its five-year, $900-billion price tag, while liberal Democrats say it cuts too much from food stamp programs.

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