The drought of 2012 is going to be one for the records. So may the attempt to get a new Farm Bill in 2012.
This “battle” in the house has 3 main sides and probably 6 total factions or more if all were figured in.
Traditional Farm State Congressman, a perfect example of that would be House Ag Comm. chairman Frank Lucas.
Tea Party Conservatives, a perfect example here would be Joe Walsh.
Blue dog dems, or what is left of them, which is not many anymore and complicates a farm bill from the democratic side, example Collin Peterson.
Conservative house leadership, Eric Cantor would be the example here.
Ultra liberal democrats, who only really care about the expansion of food stamps, food safety, and a few feel good environmental and small organic farm programs. Nancy Pelosi is the poster child here.
And last the “tweeners” mainly conservative republican tea party backed, but come from big agricultural district representatives, Bobby Schilling would be an example.
House Speaker John Boehner is in my opinion caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. He needs to protect the “tweeners” who cannot afford to disappoint either the agricultural industries in their districts or the Tea Party people who want to drastically reduce government spending. If he could just delay the farm bill and not make these reps have to choose before the election it would be better for him. Unfortunately for him Frank Lucas is not really a tea party kind a guy.
Clearly Cantor does not want a farm bill and wants to cut food stamps more than they are being cut in the proposals out there.
The Ultra liberals want no cuts to food stamps and will vote against anything that has a simple reform in it.
The Tea Party will just say no to anything.
Blue Dog dems don’t have enough numbers or clout on their side of the isle to amount to anything anymore.
The traditional farm state reps just do not want to go home and go to all the ag day events and state fairs without a farm bill and have to explain everything to farmers and ranchers who now besides wondering what their future holds with a new farm bill are burning up with the record drought America is having.
And, the Senate is controlled for now by the democrats, even though with the numbers shaping up the way they do, the Senate will be much more conservative after the election.
So, originally I was looking for a lame duck between the election and new Congress being sworn in farm bill deal to be done and passed around Thanksgiving.
BUT NOW ALONG COMES THIS LITTLE THING – THE BIGGEST DROUGHT SINCE THE 1950’s OR MAYBE BACK TO THE DUST BOWL DAYS OF THE 1930’s.
I run some numbers on the drought, look at where maybe the politics are headed. I suggest there may be a two step process to this drought relief. One in late summer early fall and then another one after the policy makers figure out just how bad this is.
My boys did ask me an interesting question this morning, “Where is Romney on this drought Dad???”
My answer “Not even on his radar screen, but it will be before the effects from this drought are over.”