On Thursday, September 13, Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat representing Iowa's First District, introduced a bipartisan discharge petition to force the 2012 Farm Bill to come to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. This petition requires 218 signatures in order for the bill to be considered. Currently, 39 members of the House have signed the petition, including Congressman Dave Loebsack (Iowa District 2), and Congressman Leonard Boswell (Iowa District 3).
To see a complete list of all members who have signed the petition, click here. This discharge petition may not be successful in gathering 218 signatures, but it will put added pressure on the U.S. House leadership to consider the bill. The House is set to recess next week until after the elections without working on the farm bill which will expire on September 30. On Monday, September 17, the National Corn Growers Association will be conducting patch through calls to corn grower members who live in Congressman King and Congressman Latham's districts asking that the Congressmen sign the discharge petition. "We need your help in making this call to action successful," says Mindy Larson Poldberg, director of government relations for the Iowa Corn Growers Association.
Corn growers are encouraged to use this contact information and message
"If you live in Congressman King or Congressman Latham's current district (or new district) please call them today," urges Poldberg. "Contact information and an example message can be found below. Feel free to personalize the message."
Please sign the farm bill discharge petition TODAY! The farmers have done our jobs on the farm bill, the Senate has done its job, now it's time for the House to do its job! The excuse of there not being enough time left before the election is unacceptable. The House Ag Committee finalized its bill months ago - delay is not an option. Failure to move on this bill will be remembered during this election. Lend your support to the discharge petition so we can add pressure to move the farm bill yet this year. Thank you for listening to your farmer constituents over party leaders!
Congressman Steve King: 202-225-4426
Congressman Tom Latham: 866-428-5642
Congress returns: The U.S. House and Senate returned to Washington D.C. last week after a five week recess. On Tuesday, September 10, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund federal programs through March 2013. The House approved the CR on Thursday, September 13, with all members of the Iowa delegation voting in favor. The Senate will take up the Continuing Resolution next week. The CR does not contain funding for a 2008 Farm Bill extension.
Corn Growers Urge Congress to Pass a Farm Bill: Last week, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) signed on to a letter to Senate leadership urging them to pass a new, five-year farm bill. In the letter, NCGA and other farm organizations discourage support for the House-passed disaster assistance-only bill as it would likely delay a full five-year farm bill. The Senate's farm bill, which ICGA supports, included disaster assistance. The agricultural groups encourage support for a long-term farm bill to ensure that farmers have access to risk management tools. Click here for a copy of the letter.
Iowa Corn Directors and staff also participated in a rally on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, September 12 to encourage Congress to pass a five-year farm bill. The rally was attended by farmers, political leaders, and members of the Farm Bill Now coalition. Click here for more information.
EPA Extends RFS Waiver Comment Period: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday, September 11, it would extend the public comment period regarding a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The new deadline for comment submission is October 11, 2012. The National Corn Growers Association requested that the EPA extend the comment period as harvest is underway and in the next few weeks we will know much better the extent of the drought's impact on corn supply. Click here for more information on the EPA extension.
ICGA Attends Growth Energy Fly-in: Also last week, Iowa Corn Growers Association staff participated in the Growth Energy fly-in to Washington D.C. A total of 1,989 meetings were held with Congressional offices by Growth Energy members. ICGA participated in meetings with the Iowa delegation and other non-ethanol states. In addition, meetings were held with the Environmental Protection Agency, USDA and the White House. The primary topics covered were defense of the Renewable Fuel Standard and the expansion of E-15.