On a vote of 53-72, a motion to suspend the rules and pass a bill quickly to fund the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) failed on the House floor today. Representative Paul Torkelson of Hanska argued that with RFA funds set to run out by Friday, time is of the essence…

“The farm economy is in crisis if we don’t do this soon, it’s not only going to be days late, but farmers are going to be a dollar short.”

Mountain Lake Representative Rod Hamiliton concurs.

But House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said the sudden, surprise nature of the vote seemed like politics over policy…

“The people who are arguing for this have not done their homework and have not reached out to the chairs.”

The RFA offers low-interest loan programs to farmers for a wide variety of activities. A hearing on the $50 million in funding for the program is set for next Tuesday.