GOP Platform Committee Talks Regulatory Overreach, Dairy Policy Reform and Support for Farmers and Ranchers in 2016 Party Platform DocumentWed, 20 Jul 2016 06:09:46 CDT
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is one of three co-chairs of the Committee that drafted the Republican Platform for the 2016 National Convention. Agriculture received a substantial amount of attention, with the GOP writers blasting the Obama Adminsitration's over regulation of the farm and ranch community- pointing especially to the Waters of the US Rule that was to be implemented last August- but stopped by litigation since that initial day of implementation.
The Platform explains the GOP postion on WOTUS:
"The EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, issued jointly with the Army Corps of Engineers, is a travesty. It extends the government's jurisdiction over navigable waters into the micro-management of puddles and ditches on farms, ranches, and other privately-held property. Ditches, dry creek beds, stock ponds, prairie potholes, and other non- navigable wet areas are already regulated by the states. WOTUS is now subject to judicial review and must be invalidated, but that will not be sufficient. Unelected bureaucrats must be stopped from furthering the Democratic Party’s political agenda through regulatory demands forced upon citizens and businesses beyond that which is required by law. We must never allow federal agencies to seize control of state waters, watersheds, or groundwater. State waters, watersheds, and groundwater must be the purview of the sovereign states."
Regarding farm policy- the GOP calls for dairy policy reform, saying "There is growing recognition that federal dairy policies, crafted during the Great Depression, are increasingly an impediment to the ability of our dairy producers to meet the expected doubling in global demand coming by 2030," The Republican policy document offered a lukewarm endorsement of risk management programs- "Farming and ranching remain high-risk endeavors, and they cannot be isolated from market forces. No segment of agriculture can expect treatment so favorable that it seriously disadvantages workers in other trades. Federal programs toassist farmers in managing risk must be as cost-effective as they are functional, offering tools that can improve producers’ ability to operate when times are tough while remaining affordable to the taxpayers."
The platform also suggests that it was a mistake, when Food Stamps legislation was first drafted, to have it administered by the USDA. The GOP Platform says action is needed "to correct a mistake made when the Food Stamp program was first created in 1964, separate the administration of SNAP from the Department of Agriculture." This was one of the battles that Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas had to deal with as he led the effort to write what became the 2014 Farm Law- Lucas and other farm state lawmakers prevailed in their efforts to keep SNAP within the Farm Bill while more conservative elements of the party wanted farm support programs separated from the nutrition title.
To read the complete GOP Platform report, click here.
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