Sen. Franken to Senate Leadership: “Fiscal Cliff” Deal Needs to Include Comprehensive Farm Bill

In an effort to help farmers across Minnesota who are facing uncertainty because a new Farm Bill hasn’t been passed by the House of Representatives, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) today urged Senate leadership to include the bipartisan, Senate-passed Farm Bill in any deal brokered to address the nation’s fiscal challenges.
“Minnesota’s farmers, livestock producers, and rural entrepreneurs support one in five jobs in our state, and they need a new Farm Bill so they can plan for next year,” said Sen. Franken. “The Senate has passed a comprehensive Farm Bill that will give our farmers the stability they need, but the House simply hasn’t taken action. As we work to address our nation’s fiscal challenges, it’s critical to remember that our farmers need a new Farm Bill—that’s why I urged Senate leadership to make passing this legislation a top priority.”
Earlier this year, the Senate passed a comprehensive Farm Bill that cuts billions of dollars in spending and includes a number of provisions written by Sen. Franken. The House of Representatives has not yet taken up the Senate’s Farm Bill, and farmers across the country have said that, if Congress fails to pass a new bill, it will have dire implications for the nation’s agriculture economy.
Earlier this year, Sen. Franken and his staff held a series of Farm Bill outreach meetings with farmers all over the state to learn what Minnesota’s agriculture community needed from the 2012 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill passed by the Senate includes a provision introduced by Sen. Franken that reauthorizes the REAP program, which helps agriculture producers and businesses in rural areas invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects so they can cut energy bills and earn additional income by selling the energy they produce.
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