North Country Rep. Owens voices frustration over lack of progress of overdue Farm Bill
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 6:12 am

New York’s North Country congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) says he is frustrated that members of the House of Representatives are back to work in Washington but negotiations on an overdue Farm Bill seem to be stalled.

Owens has called on Speaker of the House John Boehner to work with House Agriculture Committee leaders to work toward a compromise that will finally bring the legislation to the floor for a vote.

“Farmers deserve the certainty of a five-year Farm Bill,” Bill Owens said in a news release Monday.

“We have made great progress on the Farm Bill in the last few weeks because those involved have been willing to compromise. Instead of hosting press conferences and using inflammatory rhetoric, Speaker Boehner should work with members of both parties to get this done.”

According to reports on the web site Politico.com last week, Speaker Boehner has been unwilling to compromise on a margin insurance initiative for dairy farmers, one of the final barriers to the Farm Bill’s success.

Margin insurance is a supply management tool that protects the diary market from overproduction by allowing the government to periodically manage milk supplies in times of market instability, according to Owens’ release. The Senate’s version of the legislation includes the margin insurance provision. The House’s version so far does not.

Owens represents New York’s 21st Congressional District, which spreads across the North Country from Saratoga County north of Albany west to Watertown.