Senator Joni Ernst. (file photo)

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says she is frustrated the Farm Bill has not yet been worked up and passed out of the Ag Committee she serves on.

The Republican from Red Oak says the work has been slowed by Democrats. “There are some hang-ups coming from our friends across the aisle,” Ernst says, “they would like to have more initiatives put into the Farm Bill and so on and so forth. And because of that, they are not willing to move ahead right now, and that’s very unfortunate.”

Ernst says they had hoped to have the bill done shortly after Easter. Now it’s going to be several more weeks. “We do anticipate that we will have this out mid-June,” Ernst says. “To me that’s just way behind schedule. Again, we should have had this done, farmers should have had certainty. And it looks like it will be delayed. Again, progress on the floor of the Senate is very slow.

The Farm Bill has been held up in the U.S. House by discussions of immigration and other issues. Ernst says she doesn’t have a problem with that. “They should have those debates. Have those debates on the floor of the House. I think that is important that everybody have a voice and talk about what is important, what is not import,” according to Ernst. “But that shouldn’t slow us down from getting our work done in the Senate through the Ag Committee. And that has been very frustrating — that we have not brought up the bill yet in committee.”

Ernst made her comments during her weekly conference call with reporters.