Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today called for Congress to forego August recess, in speaking about needed action from Congress on disaster aid for drought and for a new farm bill. In an interview on NPR syndicated radio, from WNYC in New York, he said, "You know, frankly, the best sign I saw near the Capitol was yesterday, 'Summer School for Congress.' No recess. You know, in the old days, you didn't get Summer vacation, you didn't get a recess, 'til you got your work done."
Vilsack's specific reference, that Congress should remain in session for "Summer School," was to the LaRouchePAC banner (Summer School for Congress—Cancel Recess!), prominent in Washington, D.C. all week, from the LPAC-led mobilization on Capitol Hill, throughout the city, and nationwide, for Congress to not recess today, but to stay and pass needed emergency legislation, beginning with the re-instatement of Glass-Steagall (HR 1489).
Vilsack was speaking about the need for action, because farmers and ranchers are now being slammed by drought; and also, no new five-year farm bill has been approved, when the current one is set to expire September 30.
Farm leaders are also speaking out against Congress intending to recess. The "House should pass a 2012 Farm Bill before it leaves for August recess," said the President of the National Farmers Union (NFU), Roger Johnson, in a statement issued August 1. He prefaced this demand, by criticizing a move in the House of Representative to pass a disaster-relief/one year farm bill extension today, so that they could leave town. "This proposed disaster package is designed to make it appear as though Congress is taking action to help farmers in need, before members go home to their districts this month..."
The NFU is part of a non-partisan coalition which sent a letter to Congress this week, demanding that the House of Representatives pass a long-term farm bill, before the 2008 one expires in September. All the major farm groups are involved, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the Association of Wheat Growers, the American Soybean Association, and others.