Frank Lucas and Debbie Stabenow Agree- Let's Go for a One Year Farm Bill ExtensionSun, 30 Dec 2012 14:57:57 CST
On Sunday morning, both Chairmen of the 2012 Congressional Agriculture Committees released statements backing a one year extension of the 2008 Farm Law- this in a last ditch effort to get something in place before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. The fate on such an extension is still much in doubt, as detractors of farm policy will scream about not getting the reform promised in the 2012 bills that passed the full Senate and the House Ag Committee. However, enough attention has been brought to the farm bill question to gain traction to get at least an extension because of the "Dairy Cliff" stories that have raised worries by consumers about milk prices doubling because of reverting back to the 1949 permanent law. Both Chairman Frank Lucas and Chairlady Debbie Stabenow contiue to prefer a five year deal- but have decided to go "arm in arm" in calling for the one year extension.
This will solve the milk price issue- and it will also provide a safety net for producers of program crops- including one more year of Direct Farm program payments. Those payments may well by made to wheat prducers, if no one else, before a new reformed policy might be agreed to by both bodies of Congress.
Here are the statements made by both Congressman Lucas and Senator Stabenow:
House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma says "Clearly, it is no longer possible to enact a five-year farm bill in this Congress. Given this reality, the responsible thing to do - and the course of action I have long encouraged if a five-year bill was not possible - is to extend the 2008 legislation for one year. This provides certainty to our producers and critical disaster assistance to those affected by record drought conditions.
"The legislation posted is the result of discussions with Ranking Member Peterson and my colleagues in the Senate. It is not perfect - no compromise ever is - but it is my sincere hope that it will pass the House and Senate and be signed by the President by January 1."
Senate Ag Committee Chairman Bebbie Staebnow of Michigan says “While the Senate passed a bipartisan five-year Farm Bill in June that cut subsidies and reduced the deficit, the lack of action by the House Republican leadership has put us in a situation where we risk serious damage to our economy unless we pass a temporary extension.
“If a new Farm Bill is not passed in the next few days, Agriculture Committee leaders in both chambers and both parties have developed a responsible short-term Farm Bill extension that not only stops milk prices from spiking, but also prevents eventual damage to our entire agriculture economy. It is critical that we pass a five-year Farm Bill that gives farmers and ranchers the certainty they need to plan for the future. If a new Farm Bill doesn’t pass this Congress we’ll soon hold another mark-up and just keep working until one is enacted next year.”
The US House has been called back into session for today and tomorrow, in hopes of solving the Fiscal Cliff- and the hope is that leadership will allow a vote on a one year farm bill extension as well. That is also the case in the US Senate.
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