WIUM Tristates Public Radio

IL Farm Bureau Against Splitting Farm Bill

Jul 8, 2013

After a new five year farm bill failed in the US house of representatives, some lawmakers have suggested splitting the large multi hundred billion dollar piece of legislation into two separate bills.

One bill would focus on agriculture programs and the other on nutrition programs.

I think... maybe this coalition is weakening to some degree
The Illinois Farm Bureau said splitting up the farm bill would be a mistake.
Credit SSS

The Illinois Farm Bureau has released a statement opposing such a split.

Chair of the Political Science Department at Western Illinois University, Keith Boeckleman, said he agrees.

Boeckelman said the reason farm and nutrition programs were put into the same bill in the first place was to get urban support for farm policy.

"I think what you're seeing here is maybe this coalition is weakening to some degree, the US is becoming more of a suburban nation. You have more representatives of suburban areas, but I think that splitting the farm bill up makes it really difficult for me to see how either part of it passes,"  Boeckelman said.

Boeckelman said that since the farm bill usually passes, many farm groups were caught off guard when the House rejected it last month.

He also predicted that congress would at least pass another extension of the 2008 farm bill. The current extension that congress passed, expires in September.

If no new bill or extension is passed, the 1949 farm bill kicks in.