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Mon September 17, 2012
Durbin Sounds Alarm As Farm Bill Deadline Looms
Time is running out for Congress to pass a comprehensive farm bill. The current law expires at the end of the month.
One version of the farm bill passed the Senate weeks ago with support from members of both parties. But that measure has had a harder time in the House.
Illinois' Democratic U-S Senator Dick Durbin is among those calling for action. This summer's drought left two-thirds of U.S. counties declared disaster areas, and Durbin says that's left farmers struggling.
"Before the end of the year they have to sit down with their banker -- first their family, then their banker -- and decide about next year. There's real uncertainty, because there's no farm program after the end of this month. It ends" Durbin said.
The hold-up in the House is among Republicans, who hold power in the chamber. On one hand are farm-state politicians, who are demanding action. But they're being blocked by others who don't like the bill's steep price tag and spending on food aid for the poor.