Lucas: Committee unified in protecting farm safety net

Farm to Market Radio News Radio 1420
By: Texas Farm Bureau
August 26, 2011

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is collaborating with Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) to unify both sides of the committee in shaping the upcoming farm bill and protecting the farm safety net, as he indicated in an inte

Following the August recess, House Agriculture Committee members will be charged with making recommendations to the Super Committee—a group of 12 Congressmen from both the House and Senate and both political parties that will make significant cuts to the federal budget.

The committee will submit recommendations to the Super Committee by Oct. 14. However, the Super Committee is free to accept or reject the committee’s recommendations in their final cuts. Many in agriculture, including Lucas, are concerned that the Super Committee will make sweeping cuts to entire sections of the farm safety net.

“The bottom line is, how do you preserve the integrity of federal farm policy? There are those who do not understand ag policy who say, ‘Do away with this section or that section of the farm bill,’ but it’s all intertwined,” Lucas said. “It’s not just a simple equation.”

Lucas noted that, depending on the Super Committee’s response to the House Agriculture Committee’s recommendations, an expedited farm bill may be necessary. However, fair and reasonable cuts based on the best interest of all farmers and ranchers would allow the House Agriculture Committee to proceed with its intended schedule for the farm bill.

“If the Super Committee winds up making recommendations that are reasonable and rational, and the framework of the farm bill is held together, then I think we can continue to work toward a regular farm bill under regular order in the spring and summer of 2012,” Lucas said.
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