Luetkemeyer: Little hope any actions will take place on Farm Bill until after elections

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--Congress returns to Washington this week for a quick, pre-election, and one of the first issues expected to come up in the U.S. House of Representatives is the 2013 farm bill.

Despite a bipartisan push for the legislation and calls for passage by many agriculture stakeholders suffering from the summer’s drought, it appears the legislation is simply stuck in ever-present Washington gridlock.

“We don’t have the votes to get it out of the House,” U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer stated bluntly. “We’ve got a group that wants to cut the bill more than what the Senate has, and as a result, there’s some differences of opinion. the bill is stuck right now.”

Among the provisions of the legislation that are most pressing for Missouri farmers this year are the emergency assistance provisions. Those expired earlier this year, well before the entire legislation was set to expire on Sept. 30, at perhaps the most inopportune time as the nation is dealing with one of the most devastating droughts in decades.

Luetkemeyer, however, said there is hope for extension of some of those drought relief programs for livestock farmers. He said eventually congress will have to pass a new overall farm bill.