Chairman Conaway and Secretary Vilsack Continue The Argument Over Cottonseed Being Called an "Other Oilseed" for Farm Safety Net PurposesThu, 25 Feb 2016 06:06:00 CST
The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Mike Conaway of Texas, called out Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack over the USDA position that they cannot consider cottonseed as an "other oilseed" when it comes to defining this crop to be eligible to be a part of he PLC and ARC coverage from Title One in the 2014 Farm Law.
Chairman Conaway blamed the lawyers working for Vilsack at the USDA for not getting an interpretation of the 2014 Farm Law right in deciding that cottonseed would not qualify as an "other oilseed" based on the language found in Title I of the act. Vilsack pushed back on that claim- saying "it was not lawyers who prevent me from doing what you asked me to do- it's an oath that I took- it's an oath that I took at the time that I took this job- which was to follow the constitution and the laws of this country." Vilsack went on to say that cottonseed was not listed in Title One as being eligible to become an other oilseed and that he could not decided on his own to make it one.
The paragraph that several members of the House and Senate Ag Committee are arguing over with the Secretary reads as follows:
Title I, Part II, Sec. 1111(12) of the 2014 Farm Bill:
(12) Other Oilseed. --The term ''other oilseed" means a crop of sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxeed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, or any oilseed designated by the Secretary. Those last six words are the point of contention- and how they are intrepreted becomes the heart of the controversy of whether cottonseed should be allowed to be an "other oilseed" based on the 2014 Farm Law or Not. Conaway- and the Chairman of the House Ag Committee at the time the 2014 Farm Law was negotiated, Congressman Frank Lucas, clearly believe they are right. Secertary Vilsack clearly believes he is right.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the give and take between Chairman Conaway and Secretary Vilsack- this from the Wednesday hearing held by the House Ag Committee on the Status of the Rural Economy in Rural America.
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