What’s next for the farm bill?
Our four part series on the farm bill wraps up today.
For the final part, I talked with Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Yukon) about the farm bill that’s passed the House Agriculture Committee (he’s the chairman), but hasn’t made it to the floor. The current farm bill expires on September 30th.
Click above to hear the full interview.
On the farm bill’s overall goal:
“Create a bill that would provide, for the next five years, a safety net to assure us sufficient supply of the highest quality of food and fiber. And also remember, eighty percent of the present farm bill is nutrition spending, so that also provides a safety net for those less fortunate in our country.”
On increased spending for federal crop insurance:
“Well crop insurance is one of the many tools that is part of this coming farm bill that help farmers and ranchers deal with things beyond their control. Whether it is the traditional part of crop insurance that deals with the weather, the drought that we’ve had in Oklahoma and the Southwest for two years now, the drought in the Midwest that has driven up the price of both corn and livestock that is a reflection of that.”
What’s the ‘skin in the game’ for farmers:
“Stepping away from the certainty of the direct payments. In the House version of the bill, where you have an option between price protection and revenue protection, you’re going to have to make the choice which way you go. And you’re going to be locked in for the next five years.”
Could those on SNAP lose benefits because of cuts:
“If you meet the asset requirements, if you meet the income requirements, you’re going to qualify. Probably in truth, the sixteen and a half billion dollar projection number may be a bit high.” (The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected savings of $16.5 billion)
Short term extension?
“By the time this process is over with, do not be surprised if, very similar to 2007, you have a one year extension of the farm bill.”