Rep. Mike McIntyre, a senior Democrat on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, signed a letter to House Speaker John Boehner asking the Republican leader to take action needed to move ahead on a new agriculture law.
Both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the bill and must set up a conference committee of members of both chambers to work out differences. The Senate has named its members, but the House has not. The current farm bill expires on Sept. 30. Congress goes out on its August break today. When it gets back in September, it will have only 11 days before the bill expires.
The letter asked Boehner to name the conference committee members immediately so that they can use the five-week break to work on an agreement that both the House and Senate can pass.
“Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in North Carolina with one out of every five jobs related to farming and agri-business. Therefore, it is critical that Congress pass a Farm Bill and provide certainty to our farmers!” McIntyre said in a statement on Friday.
His office said 50 lawmakers signed the letter to Boehner and sent it on Thursday. Boehner’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
— Renee Schoof, McClatchy Washington Bureau