With this Congress every measure has often been wrapped up in the deadline. Budget moves that go right to the very edge, debt votes that pressure both parties. As farmers across the country try to work out their short- and long-term plans for the future, they're working in the dark without a new farm bill.
Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., made a move some skeptics had thought wouldn't happen. He started the process of moving the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill forward. The measure - S.3240 called the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 - was brought to the floor this week and a cloture vote is scheduled for Thursday.
The Senate will debate the motion to proceed with the bill today (Wednesday) with the anticipation that full debate on the measure would proceed. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chair, Senate Ag Committee has said for the record several times that she confirms the end of direct payments and feels there are the needed 60 votes for cloture on the measure of needed.
There was talk that Reid would not introduce the measure for full debate ahead of the July 4 recess, and farm groups have long voiced concern about moving forward without a new bill. In response to the Senate move Tuesday, National Corn Growers President Garry Niemeyer issued a statement: "The National Corn Growers Association appreciates the actions taken today by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to move forward with Senate consideration of the 2012 farm bill this week. We support this action and look forward to working with members of the Senate to pass this important legislation and urge action before the July 4th congressional recess."