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Pelosi: Stay in Session to Pass Farm Bill, 16 Million Agricultural Jobs Hang in Balance

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today calling on House Republicans to come back to Washington and take action on passing a five year Farm Bill to protect America’s rural communities and preserve 16 million agricultural jobs:

“Congressional Democrats are ready to work and have been very clear that we must to stay in session in order to take action to help the American people.  At the top of that list has been passing a five year Farm Bill, because nothing less than America’s rural communities and 16 million agricultural jobs hang in the balance.  

“But yesterday, House Republicans allowed the Farm Bill to expire, which subjects America’s farmers and communities to enormous uncertainty, at a time when they can least afford it.  All of a sudden, many farmers are unable to enroll in conservation programs, further their business through international trade, access disaster assistance, get loans, and plan for future.  American families can expect their food prices to increase due to Congressional inaction, starting with milk, beef, poultry, and cheese.  This failure to lead means nothing less than economic, nutritional and employment crisis throughout American communities during the worst drought in nearly 50 years.

“In 2008, House Democrats led the way for passing what has been called ‘the best Farm Bill in the history of our nation.’  That Farm Bill was a model for what should be happening now: the House and the Senate coming together in a bipartisan way.  And the Senate has done so this year. 

“The time for the House to act is now, without further delay, to aid the drought-stricken areas from coast to coast and support our nation’s farm community.  Republicans must bring Congress back to work.”