Farmers across Illinois and the rest of the country were dealt another tough blow on Thursday.
House Speaker John Boehner said that a multi-year farm bill that many farmers and farm businesses hoped would pass, will not be addressed before the November elections.
KHQA spoke to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who says the House refused to act on the bi-partisan bill passed by the Senate despite the pleas of farmers who came to Washington last week.
"Eighty farm organizations came to Washington last week, many of them representing farmers in Illinois," Durbin said. "They called on Speaker Boehner and the Republican majority to call the bi-partisan Senate Bill for a vote--a bill supported by both political parties. He refused to do it. And he couldn't bring his own bill to the floor. And now he's announced today ... we're going home, we're doing nothing. That to me is an abdication of responsibility".
With the devastating affect of this year's drought and the uncertainty of what to expect next year, Durbin says that a multi-year farm bill is essential to the health and long-term welfare of Illinois farmers.
"If they are going to plan for next year, get it right and continue to make Illinois a leader in farming across the nation. We need a farm program in Washington they can work with," he said. "Unfortunately the House of Representatives has decided they can't get it done. Our farm families are just going to have to wait until they return and hope they accept the responsibility."
When we asked the Senator if farmers have any leverage in this matter, he said they have the same leverage they have always had--the ballot box.
"The voters of America have the ultimate leverage ... November 6th. Take a look and see if the congressman that's serving your area has worked to pass a farm bill, has worked to really meet the obligations to get this economy moving forward," Durbin said.
A short term drought relief bill was passed by the House a few months ago, but the Senate did not take it up.
Meanwhile, farmers across Illinois and the nation are continuing to struggle with the long-term effects of this year's history-making drought.
To read more click on this link from The Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/09/20/boehner-confirms-farm-bill-on-hold/