BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois corn farmers oppose the current proposal to decouple the farm bill and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program legislation.

House leadership, under mounting pressure, is considering two separate bills to deal with those issues instead of the traditional farm bill structure.

Although all congressmen should be concerned with food security and the opportunities to guarantee food for all Americans, many lawmakers don’t understand the link between farm programs and how they directly impact their urban constituents, according to Paul Taylor, president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association.

“What we saw happen in the House really has less to do with the legislation and more to do with the dysfunction of the House of Representatives itself,” Taylor said. “Historically, the farm bill represented an opportunity for urban and rural, Republican and Democrat, to work together and give and take their way to a final bill that worked for all Americans. In the current political environment, compromise is not valued. Therefore, we are left without workable farm policy or nutrition program reform.”

“This farm bill should be going down in history as a forward thinking, budget-minded bill that supports all Americans. Instead, it will be remembered as one of the biggest debacles ever in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives,” he said.

A farm bill has not failed to pass since sometime in the 1930s. Further, for the speaker of the House to vote for a bill that fails on the floor is a considerably uncommon event, Taylor said.

“What most people fail to consider in this discussion is that the SNAP and crop insurance are permanent law,” he said. “Those programs persist without any reform from the House or Senate. Failure to compromise actually results in a win for the status quo. The only option that is worse for Americans is not passing anything at all.”

Splitting the bill would likely fail both options, according to many experts.

“There is a reason why the two have been coupled and remained coupled for years,” said Taylor, who added that the ICGA will continue to work with the Illinois delegation to ensure that these programs remain coupled and a meaningful bill passed in 2013.