Nothing Solid on Farm Bill Yet, But Lucas Wants to Avoid One-Month Extension
Citing the confirmation of a House Republican aide - The Hagstrom Report said Friday that farm bill conferees may hold a public session next week. Nothing has been officially scheduled - but next week does market the only one in which the House and Senate are both in session for the remainder of the year. Farm Bill Conference Chair Frank Lucas has said issues like country-of-origin labeling for meat and changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act would likely be discussed and voted on in a public session. USDA late Thursday said farm bill negotiations should continue until House and Senate leaders reach agreement on a comprehensive farm bill. That came after House Speaker John Boehner suggested a one-month extension of the now-expired 2008 Farm Bill may be needed. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had said the House would be prepared to take up a conference report next week if one were offered. The Hill reported that Lucas admitted it would take a Herculean effort for conferees to finish a conference report before the House leaves town for the year next Friday. But he also expressed hope that Congress would not need to approve a one-month extension. According to Roll Call Online - Lucas said it would probably reassure everyone involved if the members and USDA know with certainty that a finished product will be on the floor the first few days in January.
Meanwhile - according to The Hagstrom Report - some details on the commodity title have started leaking out. The Hill said Lucas confirmed that one option on the table would be using the House's price loss coverage program - but basing it on the Senate's preference for historic acres rather than actual acres planted. Politico reported the rough goal is to pay on 85-percent of base acres for both the new revenue and price loss programs in the proposed commodity title.
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