EDITORIAL: Republicans continue to block Greeley farmer assistance
Published: Friday, November 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 30, 2012 00:11
The election has passed, the yard signs have been taken down and hopefully this past Thanksgiving holiday wasn’t full of politically-charged attacks as you asked your uncle to pass the gravy.
The country deserves a substantial break from the world of politics, but for the residents of Greeley and farmers of Weld County, more is at stake.
The state of Colorado has seen one of its most devastating droughts in recent years this past summer, while the farming and ranching community surrounding the university continues to struggle.
The 2008 Farm Bill expired Sept. 30, which continues to hinder the lifeblood that is Greeley: the farming and ranching community. The five-year reauthorization bill, known as the 2012 Farm Bill, was set to bring the needed assurance to Weld County farmers as they continued to recover from severe drought conditions.
The Democrat-controlled Senate approved the five-year extension, leaving it up to the House of Representatives to determine the fate of Weld County farmers. Even after the Obama Administration and House Agricultural Committee approved the bill, Cory Gardner, Greeley’s House representative, joined Republican leadership and disallowed the bill to reach a vote.
This didn’t completely kill the bill but significantly decreased its chances of passing. Now the bill continues to live in limbo as the Republican leadership is only left to blame.
The irony of this situation continues to be how many Republicans live in Greeley while so many Democrats supported the 2012 Farm Bill, including the president.
Congressional District Four, which spans the entire eastern border of Colorado and is home to Greeley, is the 11th most productive agricultural district in the nation, while Weld County ranks in the top 10 for agricultural production in the U.S.
As Congress has adjourned for the lame duck session, hope for Republicans to pass the five-year reauthorization is not high. It’s expected to only get a one-year reauthorization and pass on to the 113th Congress set to begin Jan. 3, 2013.
For a city, district and county that religiously trusts their Republican leadership, it is the Democrats leading the charge to support the farming and ranching community in Greeley.