House Deficit Reduction Plan Appears to be Friendlier to Farm Program Spending- So Says Congressman Frank LucasWed, 27 Jul 2011 11:40:43 CDT
There is a significant difference in how agricultural programs will be treated in the bills that continue to be developed by the House and Senate to address the debt ceiling/deficit reduction discussions that have captured the attention of the financial and political worlds. According to the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, the Senate proposal under development by Senate Leader Harry Reid would call for immediate ag spending cuts of several billion dollars- and the measure is very prescriptive in which programs the money will come from. In contrast, the House proposal that is being reworked for more savings by House Speaker John Boehner is not specific about how the cuts are to be made in agricultural programs- but rather will offer a number for the House Ag Committee to then decide how to spend those dollars by looking at which programs are most important to the farm community.
Congressman Lucas also believes that under the House proposal- farmers have a very good chance of getting a Direct Farm Program payment after the first of October when the new fiscal year begins- this would be for the fifth year of the five year farm law that we are currently operating under.
Lucas sat down on the telephone with us after he had offered an opening statement to today's "audit" by the House Ag Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management- click here for the opening statement that Congressman Lucas offered.
In a sixteen minute conversation with Congressman Lucas on Wednesday morning, we also talked about the timing of the writing of the 2012 farm bill, how the priorities for a new farm safety net may be determined in the writing of this next farm bill, Congressman Lucas' contention that we need to call it a "food safety net" to better convey to consumers and those outside of agriculture the true benefit to society that farm program spending provides, conservation priorities, a GIPSA update and what the Congressman is hearing from House leaders closest to the discussions with the Obama Administration in getting the Free Trade Agreements for Colombia, Panama and South Korea transmitted to Capitol Hill for a ratification vote.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear our full conversation with House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas.
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