Congressman Frank Lucas Talks Farm Bill Markup- and Thankful Bart Fischer Survived Major SUV CrashSun, 24 Sep 2017 20:39:25 CDT
One of the key authors of the current farm law, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, has no problem with starting this fall to write the next farm bill. Lucas told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that "I support Chairman Conaway's efforts to go a year early- it's just that given all of the things going on back east in the nation's capitol, it may hard to get enough politcial oxygen to make it happen."
Hays and Lucas visited on Saturday in the Livestock Barns at Oklahoma State Fair Park, as the beef cattle shows were in full swing on the final weekend of the 2017 State Fair of Oklahoma. Lucas acknowledged that money will be tight as the House and Senate Ag Committees work on this next farm bill- and House Speaker Paul Ryan has as his highest priority tax reform to move on betweeen now and the end of the year. Lucas says that there are a lot of issues demanding Congressional attention- so that will make it difficult to secure floor time in 2017.
Lucas also talked about his concerns with President Trump's plans on trade, on Colin Peterson's desire to increase CRP acres and on keeping the federal farm safety net parts of the farm bill attached with the federal nutrition program.
Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Congressional Lucas talk with Ron Hays.
Before the recorder was turned on- the former Chairman of the House Ag Committee expressed his profound relief that House Ag Committee Chief Economist Dr. Bart Fischer survived a major accident in Texas at the end of this last week. Fischer, who was hired by then Chairman Lucas to join the House Ag Committee to be Chief Economist and then stayed on as Mike Conaway became the next Chairman this past year, was traveling with Chairman Conaway and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue last Thursday inspecting agricultural damage done by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The SUV that Fischer and another staffer from the Committee and one from USDA was struck by a Semi near El Campo obliterating the third row area of the full sized SUV- the staffers were in the first and second rows. All were taken to the hospital for tests and observation and then released.
Fischer is from southwestern Oklahoma, an Ag Econ Grad from Oklahoma State and had a major role in crafting the ARC and PLC programs that are at the heart of Title I of the 2014 farm law. Among other duties this year- he and other staffers have been working on the "what ifs" for including cotton and dairy in a federal farm safety net in the next farm bill.
Fischer told Hays in an email that he has plenty of scrapes and bruises, possibly a concussion and lots of sore muscles- but is immensely grateful to be alive.
Secretary Perdue and Chairman Conaway were in a separate SUV and were not injured.
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