Iowa Congressman, Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says the Farm Bill was supposed to be voted on by the full House this week, but there is talk that vote may be delayed.
“We are monitoring that very closely and that’s why I am announcing today I am again preparing to force a vote on the Farm Bill is House leaders delay a vote,” Braley says.
There are reportedly concerns by some Republicans that the cuts in the Food Assistance or Food Stamp program are not big enough. Braley told reporters during his weekly conference call that delaying the vote on the bill could turn into another prolonged fight to get it passed.
“Abandoning plans to vote on the Farm Bill would be a grave mistake and would unnecessarily delay the progress that has already been made,” Braley says. “That progress was evidenced by a sweeping 66-27 vote on the Farm Bill in the Senate, and also by a strong bipartisan vote in the House Ag Committee, which passed the bill out 36-10.”
Lawmakers earlier passed an extension of the Farm Bill which is set to expire on September 30th. Braley says he is preparing to use what’s called a “discharge petition” that would force a vote by a majority of members to sign on in favor of it.
“If we get to a majority of the members of the House required to bring a bill to the floor — which is currently 218 members — if we were able to get that many signatures, then the leadership would have to bring the bill to the floor for a vote regardless of whether or not it was through regular order, that is them bringing it through their normal process,” according to Braley.
Braley started the process of collecting signatures for a discharge petition to bring the bill forward last year before the temporary extension was passed.