Dems Expected to Draw Hard Line on Farm Bill Proposal as Markup Advances to the House FloorFri, 27 Apr 2018 10:27:01 CDT
Last week, the members of the House Agriculture Committee gathered to markup the 2018 Farm Bill proposal of Chairman Michael Conaway. Allison Cooke of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s DC office was there and recently shared her experience of that day’s events with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays. According to Cooke, the session was relatively short for the task at hand, commencing at 10 a.m. that morning and adjourning at around 4:00 that afternoon. Cooke says the number of amendments to the proposed bill were rather limited, with only two or three actually voted on. The bill itself passed out of committee on a party-line vote with committee Democrats all voting against the final measure in protest of Conaway’s plan for the Nutrition title.
“We are certainly paying attention,” Cooke said. “As it moves forward to the House Floor - possibly sometime in May - that’s when you will probably see more amendments particularly from Democrats. We will remain vigilant, because the bill can certainly change when it gets to the House Floor.”
The Chairman’s proposal includes several provisions that Cooke confirms NCBA is pleased with, namely the authorization of $150 million to fund a Foot & Mouth Disease vaccine bank, heavily advocated for by NCBA and its partners in the livestock industry. While this is only a fraction of what it will take to fully fund the bank, Cooke says the livestock industry will have to fight for additional dollars elsewhere that can be earmarked later in the appropriations process. Cooke is also happy to see the consolidation of programs under both the Conservation and Trade titles that takes some of the best parts of various programs and combines them for more efficient and effective use. Some other regional issues are addressed in the draft proposal as well such as the eradication of cattle fever ticks in Texas and the authorization of financial support to help exterminate feral swine throughout the South.
“So, happy to see that research dollars are also being funneled down not just to those issue areas that are of concern in the animal health arena, but also to research at our land grant universities that help us continue to produce the best product that we can.”
Listen to Cooke and Hays discuss some of the provisions included in Chairman Conaway’s Farm Bill proposal relevant to cattle producers and her expectations on how this bill will progress, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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