Congressional ag leadership pushes

Speculation continues as to whether the House will bring up the Farm Bill during the lame duck session. The pending fiscal cliff and military spending are going to be the top priorities for lawmakers. On Thursday ranking Ag Committee member Collin Peterson called on Republican leadership to bring the bill to the floor saying there was no reason for further delay. Peterson also stated he would not support any extension of the 2008 farm bill.

Meanwhile House Ag Committee chair, Frank Lucas is also urging his colleagues to take action but the chairman did leave the door open to a possible extension saying: “If we can’t get this done in December and there is a one year extension, be prepared to hit the ground running in the spring,” he said. “We’re not going to start all over in our hearing process. We’re going back to markup immediately if we can’t complete this in the present session of congress.”

Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow joined the chorus on Friday stating the farm bill would be a great place for Congress to start working together: “If Congress can work together to pass the Farm Bill, it will create the trust and momentum we need to overcome gridlock and solve the challenges our country faces. Passing a bipartisan Farm Bill that reduces the deficit by $23 billion is a significant first step in meeting the critical deficit reduction challenges our country must face head-on this year.”

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