Rehberg prevents vote on Farm Bill, blames everyone else

Congressman defends taking 5-week break after preventing vote on long-term bill

BILLINGS, Mont. – Land developer Dennis Rehberg today is defending his unpopular decision to take a five-week break from Congress without having passed a long-term Farm Bill.

In an opinion in today’s Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Rehberg told Montanans what they have been telling him for weeks: “There is simply no excuse for further delay in passing a Farm Bill.” [Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 8/14/2012]

But earlier this month, before leaving for his August break, Rehberg voted to reject a five-year Farm Bill, opting instead for limited, short-term disaster relief for farmers and ranchers. [H.R. 6233, Vote 553, 8/2/2012].

The Montana Farmers Union slammed Rehberg’s failure to “act responsibly and immediately.”  Both the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the pro-ranching organization R-CALF criticized Rehberg’s effort, saying “the limited measure would not deliver aid quickly enough.” [CQ, 8/13/2012]

Montana, like many other states across the country, is dealing with record drought and wildfire.  That’s why Montana farmer Jon Tester on June 21 passed a bipartisan Farm Bill in the U.S. Senate to provide relief to farmers and ranchers.

In today’s opinion, Rehberg claimed he’s “ready and eager to return to Washington, D.C. at any time to finish this important work” of passing a Farm Bill, noting that he “heard from Montanans” at listening sessions he held years ago.

On Wednesday, Rehberg spent less than five minutes at his own listening session in Colstrip, Mont., a community reeling from wildfire damage.