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Agricultural News

Syria is the Latest Wildcard Impacting Farm Bill Progress- So Says Chairman Frank Lucas

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 22:25:53 CDT

Syria is the Latest Wildcard Impacting Farm Bill Progress- So Says Chairman Frank Lucas Will Syria become a roadblock to getting work completed on a 2013 Farm Bill? According to the Chairman of the House Ag Committee Frank Lucas, that seems to be the case- at least in the short term. In an exclusive conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, Chairman Lucas says "Clearly Ron, Syria has absorbed all of the political oxygen in the nation's Capitol. I really expected this week that we would be taking up the Nutrition, a free standing item. That now has been pushed back simply because for the rest of this week and I am not sure how many days after that- Syria is a front burner issue."

Lucas says that House Conferees will not be appointed by Leadership until the fate of the Nutrition Bill is known- he was hoping that would be before the end of September- but the uncertainty thrown into the wheels that grind polticial sausage means that may not happen sometime in early October- and that makes the process of getting a Conference done and delivering a final product that House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House can all live with when it comes to the Nutrition part of farm policy. Lucas says he is working to remind leadership "I know they are focused on Syria- but we need to get the Farm Bill done!"

In the conversation with Chairman Lucas, Hays talks with him about how a number can be evolved that all parties may be willing to accept on nutrition, what a Commodity title will look like, whether the farm bill conference report will address Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling and the importance of farm groups and any allies they have continue to work to educate every member of Congress about the importance of finishing the task of passing a new five year farm bill.

Specifically on the Commodity title- Lucas was adamant that a farm bill that will work for all commodities across the entire country will be the result of a Conference that he will apparently chair- and that anything less is not worth bringing forward- "I will be the Conference Chairman- if we don't have a comprehensive farm bill we can all be a part of that has a safety net that will work for everybody- then there is no need to have a farm bill."

Click on the LISTEN BAR to hear our full conversation with the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Third District Congressman Frank Lucas.


Ron Hays talks with the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Frank Lucas on latest Farm Bill issues
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