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RSS By: Chip Flory, Pro Farmer

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Lucas: 'Consensus is elusive'

Jul 26, 2013

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -

July 26, 2013

Lucas: ‘Consensus is, at the very least, elusive.’

That understated quote comes from House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). He says he’s still trying to reach consensus between Democrats and the far-right of the GOP on how to move forward with a stand-alone nutrition bill to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would eventually be rolled into a conference committee with the Senate on an all-inclusive farm bill.

Rep. Steve Southerland (R- Fla.) says he expects House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to attempt to bring a SNAP bill to the House floor in September. Southerland says, “It was never our desire to pass farm bill legislation and not address SNAP. We’re having these meetings... to address both farm policy as well as nutrition.”

If the House does not pass a nutrition bill to get an official farm bill conference underway with the Senate in September (a month which has only nine legislative days), Lucas says he is anticipating a possible extension of the current farm bill. He adds, “It’s my least favorite option."

Lucas wants ‘permanent law’ repealed now —

The House farm bill would repeal the 1938 Act and 1949 Act as permanent farm legislation and replace it with whatever can be passed in the new Commodity Title (Title 1) of the new bill.

Lucas told Ron Hays, of the Oklahoma Farm Report and Radio Oklahoma Network, “The old logic was if you had a ‘38 and a ’49 law on the books that were so horrendous, so impossible to implement, that will force action. In the new environment, my friends on the left and my friends on the right don’t care. They just don’t care. The group I’m now part of will just simply repeal a ’38 and ’49 law when it takes effect and we’ll have nothing. That’s what I’m afraid of.”


Follow Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory

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