Posted September 13, 2013
 
House Agricultural Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) voiced his opposition to a two-year extension of the farm bill, saying that the extension might be an attempt to slow the bill’s consideration until it can be written under different leadership, according to a KTIC Radio article, available here
 
Under House Republican rules, Lucas is scheduled to end his term as Ag Committee Chair when this Congress concludes in 2014.  Lucas says he will seek re-election in 2014, and if the farm bill does not pass, he will ask the Republican Steering Committee for an extension.
 
Lucas says more “outside the box” thinking is needed to pass a farm bill this fall and “he is prepared to support” those “bigger ideas” to get the job done, according to a Politico article, available here.  Lucas said, “The challenges that will confront the House and the Senate, when we both get there are so great.  The positions are locked in so tight on so many issues that to achieve a consensus that we can pass on both floors, that we get the president to sign, we may have to think outside the box.”   
 
Last fall, Congress failed to pass a farm bill, which “forced the committees to accept a stripped-down New Year’s Eve extension dictated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell” (R-KY) and is due to expire on September 30.  House and Senate negotiators will have two to three more months to make a deal, “but without some bold strokes” a “comprehensive farm bill could again be doomed.”

 

First, a floor vote on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) bill on the nutrition title which is said cuts $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is expected late next week.  While Cantor has talked about details of the bill, the actual text of the bill is “being closely held – as is the Congressional Budget Office scoring of the proposal and its impact on beneficiaries.” 
 
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