Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, ranking Member on the Senate Ag Committee looks forward to a "normal" Farm Bill drafting process. He addressed the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, "Super Committee," in a statement yesterday voicing his concern with the current political environment.
"Today’s announcement by the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction means that a Farm Bill will now be written in regular order as it should be," he says. "In recent weeks, the chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have worked on a Farm Bill proposal, largely without my input and the input of the other members of the two committees."
The senator says that the most recent proposal was so "secret" he still has not seen legislative language and scores. While he admits the proposal made "significant strides" in crop insurance and conservation programs, the senator has concerns about the direction of the commodity title and in the inequitable distribution of spending reductions between specialty crop programs, nutrition, commodities and conservation.
Roberts commends Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) for the work they have put into the recommendation to the "Super Committee" but he is concerned about the process. "This was not the way to write a Farm Bill," he says. Roberts is asking the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry to come together to discuss and debate policy ideas on their merits, followed by a "mark-up" that allows all committee members to provide input. "Farm Bills have always been done this way, in a bipartisan manner," he says. "I look forward to returning to normal order and writing a bill that is good for all of Rural America while being responsible to taxpayer and our World Trade Organization obligations."
Roberts will be a key speaker at the 2011 Farm Journal Forum on Dec. 6, 2011, giving insight and attention to hot topics including - the now stalled farm bill, the bankruptcy of MF Global, ongoing issues surrounding regulations that will affect agriculture and more. His no-holds-barred reputation makes this the perfect way to get the freshest update on these and other areas vital to the business of agriculture.
The Forum, hosted in partnership with Informa Economics, will be held at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., just two blocks from the White House. Among those confirmed to address the group are luncheon keynote speaker Howard G. Buffett; former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman; and Bruce Scherr and Jim Wiesemeyer of Informa Economics; Lisa Davis with Feeding America; Sam Willett with the National Corn Growers Association; Ferd Hoffner with the National Sustainable Ag Coalition; and Kent Lanclose with the Risk Management Agency.
The presenting sponsor for the event is the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, in association with the Farmers Feeding the World initiative.
Learn more at www.FarmJournalForum.com