Talking State of the Union and More with Oklahoma Congressman Frank LucasWed, 26 Jan 2011 15:35:52 CST
The Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, says the best thing about the State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening from an agricultural perspective, is that President Barrack Obama did not specifically mention agriculture.
The five year freeze on discretionary spending that President Obama called for may actually help in finding some money for the many different programs in the 2008 farm law that currently have no budget baseline associated with them. Lucas said he would be pleased if we could simply freeze agricultural spending where it is now- especially at the point that we begin to write the 2012 Farm Bill late this year or early next year.
Congressman Lucas says the mention of the free trade agreements that have been in limbo since George W Bush was in the White House- for South Korea, Columbia and Panama- raised concerns about the President's intentions on global trade efforts. He called the President's comments that he wants to rework the agreements with Panama and Columbia "very unfortunate" as he says those agreements would really help US farmers and ranchers if they were ratified immediately. He is hopeful the President will submit the South Korean agreement quickly as he believes that Congress will ratify in short order.
We also talked about regulations and the oversight plans of the House Ag Committee in 2011, about the farm safety net, about attacks by big city newspapers (like the New York City Times) on Direct Payments, the Roundup Ready Alfalfa discussion and a call by Senate Ag Committee Republican leaders to Cass Sunstein to review regulations that could be financial nightmares for farmers and ranchers across the country.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below and enjoy our conversation with the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Congressman Frank Lucas.
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