Congressman Frank Lucas Says Next Farm Bill will Likely Mirror 2014 Version - With a Few Tweaks...Wed, 31 Oct 2018 15:52:07 CDT
Oklahoma’s Third District Congressman and former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas attended a luncheon in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, hosted by United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue during a visit to Oklahoma for the Farm Production and Conservation Leadership Summit taking place in Norman, Okla. this week. He took a moment to speak with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about his impressions of the progress being made on the 2018 Farm Bill, still being hammered out by House and Senate Ag leaders. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“I think great progress has been made on a staff-to-staff basis. I believe that we in the House are congealing together, Republicans and Democrats, toward a common set of language for the 2018 Farm Bill,” he said. “Perhaps on the Senate side, it may take Election Day to come and go before they can focus with us. But, I’m more optimistic now than I’ve been in months that it’s possible to get a comprehensive Farm Bill on the books before the 115th Session of Congress goes home.”
Based on what he has heard thus far about the negotiations, Lucas reports that the next Farm Bill’s crop insurance structure will not have any dramatic differences from what currently exists, complete with optional safety net programs like ARC and PLC. In addition, he says the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will still exist in the new Farm Bill, though it will probably be more moderate and reflective of a House and Senate compromise.
“By and large, it will be fully paid for and it will maintain the basic principles of the last Farm Bill,” he said. “It will move us passed the next Presidential election and get us way down the road.”
The last piece of the pie to be put in the shell, though as Lucas says, will be the very contentious matter of SNAP work requirements being pushed by House Ag Chairman Michael Conaway and President Trump. Lucas says what ultimately comes out of these negotiations will not be reflective of either the House nor the Senate’s perspective on this issue. He says there will be reforms made, but what those will look like exactly will not be made clear until the very last minute.
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