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Agricultural News

House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson Says Wish Us Luck- We'll Need It to Pass a Farm Bill in the House

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 05:56:59 CDT

House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson Says Wish Us Luck- We'll Need It to Pass a Farm Bill in the House During an address Monday to Grange members attending the organization's annual Fly-In, Ranking House Democrat Collin Peterson warned we may be seeing "the last Farm Bill," if the omnibus legislation even passes through Congress this year.

"If we can't get the votes then I think we're done until the next election," Peterson said during his luncheon address at the National Press Club. "But this might be the last Farm Bill." He asked the members of the Grange to "Wish us luck- we'll need it."

Peterson said the bill is making some progress, and is expected to come to the House floor on the week of June 17.

In spite of nearly $21 billion in proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - funding for what was formerly known as food stamps that makes up nearly 80 percent of the $1 trillion piece of legislation - Peterson said some Republicans still may not budge.

"Some Republicans tell me that the high water mark among the Republican Caucus is 150 (votes)," Peterson said. "I agreed to the SNAP cuts because (Rep.) Lucas thought it's what needed to be done in order to get the votes. For some of them, $21 billion isn't enough. For some of them, $100 billion wouldn't be enough."

Peterson is not certain that he can deliver 70 Democrats on the floor of the House to vote for the bill- especially if food stamp cuts are increased by a floor amendment. That raises the problem of simply not having enough votes to pass the bill on the House floor.

Peterson said he and Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) believe limiting the number of amendments to no more than 30 that can be added to be bill is necessary to allow it to pass.



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