Letter to the editor: Heitkamp will make the farm bill a priority in SenateWhen the House went home to campaign, it left behind some unfinished business, like passing a farm bill that has served as the bedrock of North Dakota’s economy. Instead, the last farm bill expired.
By: Robert Carlson, The Jamestown Sun
When the House went home to campaign, it left behind some unfinished business, like passing a farm bill that has served as the bedrock of North Dakota’s economy.
Instead, the last farm bill expired.
Much is put at risk by the gamble being taken by House leadership and tea party House members who hope that if they simply kick the can down the road a few months, they can finally gash open the farm safety net that has helped make North Dakota a top producer of some 17 different crops.
Unfortunately, Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., has gone along with their gambit, claiming to support the farm bill in North Dakota, but then voting the party line in Washington to cut crop insurance and slash billions from farm programs.
North Dakota’s priorities are Heidi Heitkamp’s priorities. She understands the importance of agriculture to North Dakota. She’ll work with both sides to put the country first, create jobs and balance the budget. That’s why I am supporting her for U.S. Senate.
For those who wonder why the push for the farm bill in recent weeks has come up short, this story was set in motion last March when the House approved a budget that cut $180 billion from farm programs, including crop insurance.
Having voted to make massive cuts to the farm bill, including crop insurance, few in the House have an appetite to now reverse themselves and vote for a farm bill with less cuts.
The farm bill expired this month and now farmers face the possibility of higher costs from bankers who are seeing the possibility of a growing season not knowing what crop insurance will look like.
It is unfortunate that Berg didn’t use his national speech at the Republican National Convention a few weeks ago to even mention the farm bill or farming, our No. 1 industry. Has he forgotten North Dakota’s priorities so quickly in Washington?
Heitkamp, on the other hand, has been talking about the farm bill in town halls and roundtable discussions since March — because she knows agriculture is our foundation and she knows that in Washington today, big things like the farm bill don’t get done when our elected officials put politics ahead of people.
That is why Heitkamp will seek a seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee. She supports the bipartisan Senate farm bill that gives certainty to our farmers, reduces the deficit by $23 billion and helps protect 16 million jobs across the country in agriculture.
It’s time to elect someone who will focus on North Dakota’s priorities and fight for a farm bill all year round, not just during the election season. That person is Heitkamp.
(Carlson is president of the World Farmers Organisation)