Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lucas To Remain Chair Of House Agriculture Committee For 113th Congress

A new Farm bill is "a matter of time," says Oklahoma lawmaker...
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) will remain the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee when the 113th Congress begins.  The House Republican Conference on Wednesday voted Lucas in for his second term.   Lucas faces a major challenge: The Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are still battling over whether to seek an extension or try to pass a new Farm Bill.

"We advanced a strong, reform-minded, fiscally responsible farm bill that can save billions of dollars and provide certainty to our agricultural producers," Lucas said in a statement.  "This process is not complete though I am confident that it’s just a matter of time."

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney noted to reporters that President Obama has been encouraging Congress to pass a comprehensive multi-year farm bill "... that not only provides much-needed disaster assistance but gets farmers and ranchers the certainty they deserve while enacting critical reforms.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will have lunch with Lucas and the leaders and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture committees on Thursday, a spokesman for Vilsack confirmed to The Hagstrom Report late today.  The luncheon will be an opportunity for Vilsack to discuss the prospects for the Farm Bill, the impact of the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill, and the question of an extension of parts of the 2008 bill, said the spokesman.