Farm groups applauded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Tuesday announcement of the Senate-passed Farm Bill as a priority bill, urging additional action to move the bill through its paces.
"We are encouraged to hear that Sen. Reid is making the farm bill one of several privileged, top priority legislative actions this year. This represents real hope for farmers and ranchers that the Senate, like last session, will aggressively move forward on a long-term farm bill to give farmers the risk management certainty we need," said Bob Stallman, AFBF president.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., commented Tuesday that Reid demonstrated the Senate will make supporting the economy through a new farm bill a priority.
"Last year we were able to pass a farm bill with overwhelming bipartisan support, saving more than $23 billion in taxpayer money and reforming farm bill programs to be more cost-effective and market-oriented," Sen. Stabenow said.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson and National Milk Producers Federation President Jerry Kozak also released statements of support for Reid's commitment to the farm bill.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to put the farm bill near the top of the list of things to do in 2013 is good news for America's dairy farmers, who need leaders in the Senate and House to renew their push this year for a better farm bill," Kozak said.
Johnson supported Senate action, but pressed the House for immediate commitment.
"Farmers and ranchers are in need of certainty through a five-year farm bill and we will continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to garner their support for a bill as soon as possible. NFU urges Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner to make the same commitment to rural America so that we do not prolong this process much longer," Johnson said.