Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with the Vice President of Governmental Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Ethan Lane, about the election of the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson.
“This has been a true test of relationships on Capitol Hill and some of the fashions in the House Republican conference,” Lane said. “Those have been on full display in the last 22 days. I believe they have taken more Speaker votes since the first of October than all the way back to 1989 in the House of Representatives.”
Lane said Mike Johnson has been heavily considered by many since the beginning of the process.
“The reason for that is the level of respect his colleagues in the House Republican Conference have for him,” Lane said. “He a principled conservative, he is a man who definitely is low on acrimony and high on what we call ‘comity’ in the House of Representatives, goodwill, he engages with a smile, he is a gentleman…,” Lane said.
By all accounts, Lane said Mike Johnson is someone who sees the world the same way as cattle producers and members of NCBA.
Editor’s Note- Johnson’s fourth district of Louisiana includes a lot of beef cattle production in the northwest and west central areas of the state.
“Without question, he is going to be put to the test in the first few weeks here,” Lane said. “Obviously, we have a government funding extension that expires in less than a month. There has been no movement on that front in the last 20 days, and that is going to become his top priority, as I understand.”
There are going to be some big-ticket items on the table aside from that government funding extension, including the agricultural appropriations bill that failed on the House floor at the end of September, which Lane said will be negotiated from the bill that passed out of the House Appropriations Committee.
“Obviously, there will be some discussions about what to do about the expired Farm Bill and whether or not there needs to be an extension of some length and time to give negotiators on both sides of the hill time to process some kind of a bill that moves on both the Houses of Congress in the next year or so,” Lane said.
Regarding the ag appropriations bill, Lane said NCBA is paying special attention to a range of priorities for cattle producers in the bill.
“The original bill that came out of the appropriations committee includes money for tags, for electronic ID tags to offset the cost for producers,” Lane said. “USDA is working on a rulemaking now that would be about a 26-million-dollar economic cost to implement to producers.”
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