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Rep. Sorensen ‘optimistic’ Congress can beat farm bill deadline

In this photo taken in March 2008, a grain transport truck is loaded with corn in Curran, Ill.

MOLINE — Congress has a tight deadline to approve a new farm bill.

Central Illinois congressman Eric Sorensen, D-Ill., is part of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee that recently reorganized at the start of the 118th Congress in late January.

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Sorensen said it will take compromise to meet the needs of farmers and those who need nutrition assistance.

“I’m really optimistic, especially going into the agriculture committee in a farm bill year that happens every five years, that we are going to be able to follow the data,” Sorensen said.

The farm bill expires in September. Advocates for SNAP benefits have called for changes that would prevent those who get employment training from losing eligibility for food stamps.

“We need to make sure that the people that are struggling to make ends meet have what they need,” Sorensen said. “It is the government’s role that we are providing for the people that need it.”

Sorensen also said he wants to see expanded markets for ethanol-blended fuel, including the aviation industry. “We have to make sure that E-15 is able to be used all year round,” he said. “We need to make sure the innovation is there for our farmers going forward.”

Sorensen represents the 17th Congressional District that includes parts of Bloomington-Normal, Peoria and much of central and northwestern Illinois.

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