President about farm bill: ‘Let’s get this done’

President Obama expressed relief that the federal government has reopened. His televised statement, however, also included admonitions about the tasks that need completion by year’s end.

“We should pass a farm bill,” said President Obama, Thursday, putting that task among those that he said can be done by the end of 2013.

The Senate has passed “a solid bi-partisan bill,” said the President, “It’s sitting in the House waiting for passage.”

“If House Republicans have ideas that they think would improve the farm bill, let’s see them,” said the President. “Let’s negotiate. What are we waiting for? Let’s get this done.”

The response from the House Agriculture Committee, chaired by Republican Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, was that the President should check facts. An email from the Committee countered that farm bill negotiations have begun. It said that the House measure was sent to Conference and that House conferees were appointed. The message pointed out further that House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders have met and will begin formal conference meetings when the two bodies are in session together.

A spokeswoman for Representative Lucas said that could be as early as next week. Lucas also chairs the Farm Bill Conference.

AUDIO: President Obama (20 min. MP3)

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