Rick Berg Predicts Farm Bill Passage Monday, Fails to Deliver Before Skipping Washington for Vacation
Ranking Ag Cmte Member Peterson Predicted in March the Partisan Berg/Ryan Budget Would Prevent Farm Bill Passage
MANDAN, N.D. – Rep. Rick Berg, who voted on strictly party lines in his first year in the U.S. House to cut crop insurance 20 percent, and voted this year to cut $180 billion from farm programs — including $30 billion from commodity and crop insurance — failed to deliver a Farm Bill before skipping town today, despite promises of optimism as recently as Monday that the House would pass a bill.
“This week, the contrast couldn’t be more clear,” said Heidi Heitkamp’s Campaign Manager Tessa Gould, “While Heidi was talking about seeking a seat on the Senate Ag Committee and working across party lines with anyone for our farmers and ranchers, Rep. Berg was making empty promises in Washington he couldn’t back up. Our farmers and ranchers deserve the certainty that comes with a five-year farm bill, not more empty promises from Rep. Berg in Washington.”
On Monday, Berg told Valley News Live:
“I’m very optimistic. I think this week people will say yes we need to get this done, and I think you’ll see them come together, Republicans and Democrats, to get this into conference committee.” (Valley News Live, 7/30/12)
But on Wednesday the Associated Press reported that House leaders had pulled the Farm Bill from coming up for a vote at all, just as Berg and company are set to leave Washington for a month-long taxpayer-funded vacation:
“The party remains stymied by internal divisions between conservatives and farm-state lawmakers on how to proceed with a broader renewal of farm subsidies and the food stamp program. Republicans initially had announced plans to extend for one year the current farm and food programs, which expire on Sept. 30. But GOP leaders pulled that measure from Wednesday’s floor schedule amid continued resistance from many conservatives and after Democrats announced opposition to the measure.” (Associated Press, 7/31/12)
Back in March, Rep. Colin Peterson predicted the partisan Berg/Ryan budget would become a major obstacle to getting a long-term farm bill passed:
“The budget proposed today by Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would ‘guarantee there will be no farm bill this year,’ Minnesota Representative Colin Peterson said. Republican leaders, in attempting to avoid defense cuts, have chosen to ‘leave farmers and hungry families hurting,’ Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said in an e-mailed message. Ryan’s plan would cut $30 billion from agriculture spending over 10 years.” (Reuters, 3/20/12)
Today, as a director of the Dakota Gasification synfuels plant, she’s a champion for North Dakota’s energy industry. Heidi believes we need to use all of North Dakota’s rich energy resources wisely, creating and keeping high-paying jobs right here. Heidi says it’s time to put country first, put politics aside and work together to cut government spending, balance the budget, create jobs and get our economy back on track—while protecting North Dakotans.
Heidi lives in Mandan with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner, their golden retriever Copper, and their elderly tabby cat, Sport. They have two grown children, Ali and Nathan.
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