Following Senate passage of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act – House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson both commended Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Pat Roberts. Lucas said moving the legislation was a challenge – and the efforts of Stabenow and Roberts made it possible. Peterson gave the pair high marks for securing bipartisan support and brining the bill one step closer to completion. While stating that he’s not on board with everything they did – Peterson did express confidence that the differences can be worked out in conference committee. Lucas too noted there will be differences between the Senate approach and the House approach. When the House Ag Committee meets July 11th to consider their version of the farm bill – Lucas says they will consider a balanced proposal that saves taxpayers billions of dollars, recognizes the diversity of American agriculture, respects the risks producers face and preserves the tools necessary for food production.
Peterson also stressed the need to finish the farm bill before the current bill expires in September. Waiting for the lame duck session – he said – will not only make it more difficult – but could result in several unintended consequences. Peterson believes if the committee passes a bipartisan bill in early July – House leadership will have little choice but to bring the farm bill to the floor before the August recess. He says he will continue to work with Chairman Lucas and members of the Committee to make that happen.