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Farm Bill Debate Just Getting Started

Farm Bill Debate Just Getting Started

Coverage of town hall meetings and post Easter break rhetoric doesn't bode well for a farm bill this year.

There's been a lot of farm bill talk lately and in many cases the answer on the potential for a 2012 Farm Bill before the election is "no." More specifically, everyone from Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to key Republicans are expressing their doubt on the measure's passage. Recently, Sen. Roy Blount, R-Mo., spoke about the farm bill during a St. Louis Agribusiness Club event and his news wasn't good.

Blount observes that "when big decisions are made, government stands still. We are going to have to decide who we as Americans want to be. Do we want to follow Europe's path and drive have government outgrow our economy, or do we want a government we can afford?"

PUTTING IN THE HOURS: The U.S. Senate and House are beginning work on the 2012 Farm Bill.

In a press statement from the National Corn Growers Association, Blount responded to a question about the likelihood that a farm bill would pass this year. His reply was that he thought some extension of the current bill was more likely. "Although something could be accomplished in the Senate that we could live with, that won't happen in this house."

Blount's perspective on the issues is different. He's a former history teacher and university president. Blount brings a unique perspective to his work in public service. He commented on government's lack of progress these past two years, and pointed out similar junctures during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. He said he believes that we will have another year of gridlock before government will be back to business and make the necessary hard decisions it is now avoiding.

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