Campaign 2010

Jul 30, 2013

Rep. Crawford Admits Blame in Farm Bill Failure – Calling His Strategy “Overzealous Overreach”

Congressman Rick Crawford finally admitted that he and his party are responsible for the failure to pass the new farm bill into law – calling his own strategy an “overzealous overreach,” which is jeopardizing ultimate passage of a new law during an appearance on KARK’s Capitol View. This is the second consecutive year that Congressman Crawford’s Congress has failed to pass a new farm bill, leaving Arkansas farmers without critical security and stability they deserve.

“Congressman Crawford finally admitted that he’s part of the problem in Washington and that Congressman Crawford’s misplaced priorities are to blame for failing to protect Arkansas farmers,” said David Bergstein of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Instead of trying to fix problems like the stalled farm bill, Congressman Crawford’s self-described ‘overzealous overreach’ is jeopardizing the ultimate passage of any new farm bill and preventing Arkansas farmers from receiving the stability and security they need to operate.”

Congressman Crawford voted for a farm bill that was so radical that more than 532 agriculture groups opposed it, including the Arkansas Farm Bureau, Arkansas Farmers Union, Arkansas Rice Federation, Arkansas Rice Producers’ Group, Arkansas State Sheep Council, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas, and the Agriculture Council of Arkansas.

BACKGROUND:

Congressman Crawford: Farm Bill Failed Because of Republican “Overzealous Overreach.” “I think we have to be careful that we don’t overreach, I think that’s what we did in that first round and we lost a lot of Democrat support. In fact we had probably 40 to 50 commitments from Democrats that the defected because of a particular amendment that they just couldn’t tolerate […] So the reforms that we were looking at, we really may have lost those in kind of an overzealous overreach to do more.” [KARK, 7/28/13]

Congressman Crawford Voted to Split the Farm Bill, In Spite of Opposition from Arkansas Farm Groups. In July 2013, Crawford voted to split the nutrition title from the Farm Bill.  The Agriculture Council of Arkansas, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Arkansas Farmers Union, Arkansas Rice Federation, Arkansas Rice Producers’ Group, Arkansas State Sheep Council, and the Farm Credit of Western Arkansas wrote to Speaker Boehner with other agriculture groups urging, “Farm bills represent a delicate balance between America’s farm, nutrition, conservation, and other priorities, and accordingly require strong bipartisan support […] We believe that splitting the nutrition title from the rest of the bill could result in neither farm nor nutrition programs passing, and urge you to move a unified farm bill forward.” [American Farm Bureau Federation, Letter to Speaker Boehner, 7/02/13; HR 2642, Vote #353, 7/11/13]

Agricultural Council of Arkansas: House of Representatives Left Farmers “Out to Dry” With Farm Bill Failure. The president of the Agricultural Council of Arkansas said of the Farm Bill failure “Unfortunately, a hyper-partisan House of Representatives has left farmers, businesses and consumers out to dry.” [City Wire, 6/21/13]


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