The Senate voted 55-42 Friday morning to limit debate on the Farm Bill to 30 hours. Sixty votes are needed to invoke cloture, so the Senate will head to the Thanksgiving recess with basically nothing accomplished during the two weeks since the Farm Bill was brought to the floor.
"I'm really disappointed that the United States Senate failed to invoke cloture to cut off debate of non-germane amendments so the Farm Bill could be debated and acted upon quickly when Congress returns the first of December," says National Farmers Union President Tom Buis.
The House of Representative adjourned for Thanksgiving recess Thursday night, but during that day's business, Representative Jerry Moran, R-Kan., introduced a bill to extend the 2002 Farm Bill until Sept. 30, 2008. House Agriculture Committee Chair Colin Peterson, D-Minn., said the move for an extension was premature. Moran addressed that Friday at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
"My guess is that after the failure of cloture today and the Senate's inability to address a farm bill, it may have been premature yesterday; it won't be premature today," Moran says. "There's enough blame to go around, I'm not here on the blame game, but Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate ought to come together to pass a farm bill that's beneficial to American agriculture."