These 39 groups are seeking to avoid a delay in the passage of the farm bill when Congress returns to DC after Labor Day, especially since September will be a time when its members will have fall election campaigns on their minds.

On another front, the DTN Washington Insider discussed the efforts of several members of both parties to move farm legislation to the floor of the House. In July, the leadership of the House refused to bring farm legislation up for a vote because of the objections of some members who wanted to see the food and nutrition programs reduced further than they were in the Ag Committee.

The strategy being considered is to get 218 members of the House to sign a discharge petition that would bypass the ordinary procedures and bring the farm bill up for a vote by the House. Usually discharge petitions are used by the party in the minority, but in this case both parties have constituents who are farmers who could be hurt by a delay in adopting the farm bill.

Perhaps the combination of pressure from farmers and the broader public along with pressure from both sides of the aisle in the House will be able to bring about vote on the farm bill once Congress comes back into session in September.

Daryll E. Ray holds the Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, and is the Director of UT’s Agricultural Policy Analysis Center (APAC). Harwood D. Schaffer is a Research Assistant Professor at APAC. (865) 974-7407; Fax: (865) 974-7298; dray@utk.edu  and hdschaffer@utk.edu;  http://www.agpolicy.org.