USDA Official Again Pledges Quick Farm Bill Implementation

November 12, 2012 10:39 PM
 

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Timeline for implementation leading some US lawmakers to seek one-year extension of 2008 Farm Bill


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


USDA implementation of a new farm bill will take place as quickly as possible, USDA Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse told an Idaho farm meeting.

Scuse said a bigger issue for USDA is when the bill gains final approval. "Congress will pass it today, yet they will want it enacted yesterday," Scuse said. "It's very difficult to enact a bill quickly."

However, he said implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill was delayed by the Bush administration and Congress should not use that as a reason to not act on a new bill. "If they pass a farm bill, we're going to do everything we can to implement it as quickly as possible," Scuse stated.

Farm bill extension of some type likely. Some U.S. lawmakers say that even if Congress were to pass a farm bill in the lame-duck session that starts today, by no means a certainty, some type of extension of the 2008 Farm Bill would be needed.

There is also the issue of implementing a new cotton safety net program -- STAX.


Comments: I've talked with Scuse about this matter before and he is consistent -- USDA can expedite farm bill implementation, but as he noted, it depends on when Congress reaches the end zone. As for Congress, we should know by the end of the week whether or not House GOP leaders will either call for a multi-day House floor debate on the pending House farm bill, whether they will wrap a behind-closed-door farm bill into whatever budget package comes out of the lame-duck, or whether or not the issue is punted to 2013. If punted to 2013, there could be a new ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee -- Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who favors the House safety net proposal that gives farmers a choice between revenue assurance or a target/reference price option.


 

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 


 

 

 

 

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