The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Congress Wednesday asking them to work together to pass a comprehensive energy plan to alleviate pressure on consumers from high energy prices.
"Clearly, legitimate policy issues need to be addressed in crafting an energy plan that encompasses such an approach, and it will need the cooperative, constructive efforts of members from both political parties," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "We urge the leadership of both parties, in both houses of Congress, to put aside short-term political considerations and work together to craft a long-range, bipartisan, effective energy plan that will finally put our nation on a path toward affordable energy independence."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did announce he would accept the offer of four amendments from Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The number of amendments has been the main sticking point between the two parties on the energy speculation bill. However, the agreement may not move the bill forward, as Reid said any deal on the speculation bill would require Republicans to stop a filibuster of the tax extenders package.
In the House Wednesday, similar legislation that would provide better oversight to the commodity and energy markets fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to pass it under suspension of House rules. The bill would require the Commodities Futures Trading Commission establish requirements limiting speculation; and strengthened the CFTC with legal authority and increased staffing to address oversight, surveillance and regulation.
"It's pretty clear that the markets are not functioning as they should," National Farmers Union President Tom Buis said. "Without adequate oversight and transparency we will only continue down this slippery slope, leaving America's family farmers and ranchers in jeopardy."