Frank Lucas- "If Humanly possible- I want this Farm Bill done!"Mon, 25 Nov 2013 04:31:46 CST
On Friday, Farm Director Ron Hays talked at length with the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Frank Lucas, about the impasse that developed on Thursday in Farm Bill Conference negotiations between the so called "Big Four." With no deal among the four key leaders of the House and Senate Ag Committees- it becomes increasingly unlikely that a conference report can be completed and walked through the process that would follow before the end of the year.
You can listen to the full conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Lucas mentioned three areas where issues are not yet settled in the talks- aimed at producing a 2013 Farm Bill for the House and the Senate to vote on- and hopefully for the President to sign. Those three areas where breakthrough is needed- Commodity Title, Nutrition Savings and Dairy Policy.
Lucas appears to be the member in that group of four with the Commodity Title as his highest priority- saying "From my perspective, we have to have a consensus on the commodity title."
Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow seems most adamant on minimizing cuts to the Nutrition Title, while Colin Peterson has been most focused on dairy throughout the farm bill process- both last year and this year.
Lucas does not believe that an extension is an option- saying "we just have to get our work done."
Staff meetings continue- and Chairman Lucas says he expects to spend a lot of time on the phone with both staff as well as with other members involved with the Conference effort.
Lucas sums up where we are on this process-- "Everybody has come a great distance to try to get to a common point on these issues- of that I am very pleased- we just started a long way apart on these issues- but we have made progress."
Keith Good with AgPolicy.Com has produced a transcript of our audio conversation with the Chairman-
Click here to read our interview with Chairman Lucas.
And Keith also did a transcript of an interview that House Ag Committee ranking member Colin Peterson did on Friday as well- Click here to read what Peterson is saying about the process.
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