Disappointment, frustration and concern were the terms some ag interests used to describe their attitude towards the U.S. House of Representatives after it failed to pass a 2013 Farm Bill Thursday afternoon.
Nearly four years in the making, the bill still couldn't garner the bipartisan support needed to pass. That's a point that Minority Whip Steny Hoyer made clear following final vote on the bill, noting, "we turned a bipartisan bill into a partisan bill."
In his exchange with Senate Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Hoyer blamed House Republicans for pushing away votes by asking for extensive cuts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, filed similar comments.
"The farm bill failed to pass the House today because the House Republicans could not control the extreme right wing of their party," Peterson said. "From day one I cautioned my colleagues that to pass a farm bill we would have to work together. Instead, the House adopted a partisan amendment process, playing political games with extreme policies that have no chance of becoming law.
"I'll continue to do everything I can to get a farm bill passed but I have a hard time seeing where we go from here," he said.
Regardless of who or what was behind the bill's failure, legislators and farm groups supporting the bill will have to start over again.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow in a statement highlighted the work the Senate has done in passing the Farm Bill – twice – and urged the House to move on.
"The House needs to find a way to get a five-year Farm Bill done. The Speaker needs to work in a bipartisan way and present a bill that Democrats and Republicans can support. He could start by bringing the Senate bill to the floor for a vote," Stabenow said.
"Maintaining the status quo means no reform, no deficit reduction, and further uncertainty that slows growth in our agriculture industry. This is totally unacceptable."