Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says his effort to get signatures on a petition to bring a vote on the farm bill to the full U.S. House for a vote are still being blocked. The farm bill passed the agriculture committee, but committee leadership has not reported the passage of the bill to the full House.
Braley says there is a mandatory waiting period before he can get signatures on the petition. That waiting begins once the committee reports the bill has been passed, but that waiting period hasn’t started yet since the committee hasn’t reported the bill.
“And Republicans are expressing significant frustration to me with their own leadership over their failure to report the bill,” Braley says. Braley says today’s declaration of 42 Iowa counties as federal crop disaster areas due to the drought adds to the urgency to get the farm bill passed.
“We can’t afford to sit here and do nothing on the farm bill and these disaster assistance provisions while Iowa crops continue to burn up,” Braley says. A coalition of fiscal conservatives and Tea Party members strongly opposes farm subsidies and House G.O.P. leaders want to avoid a nasty fight among Republicans before the November election.
Braley would need 218 signatures on what’s called a “discharge petition” to bring the bill to the full House for a vote.