With the election in the rear view mirror, members of Congress can resume work on the Farm Bill, says Stu Ellis, who says the legislation is currently in the hands of the Chairmen and ranking Democrats of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.
University of Illinois agriculture policy specialist Jonathan Coppess says those high level negotiations should go a bit easier…
In two ways the election really provides a big chance for the conferees to complete the work on the Farm Bill. For one, now that the voting, the campaign season is over with all that heat and rhetoric turns down is decreased. The second part is because of the major change in the House, the new Democratic majority coming in in January, and the loss by the current Republican majority of a lot of seats also I think adds some of the potential of the partisan challenges that really stuck this Farm Bill in a stalemate can be set aside.
The House agriculture committee will now be lead by Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, who wants to finish the work begun, rather than start over with a Democratic oriented Farm Bill..
Particularly for somebody who had had a lot of experience with Farm Bills like Mr. Peterson has, he understands that starting over in a new Congress is going to be difficult, and this Congress is going to have a lot on its plate, and so getting work on a Farm Bill will be a new Challenge in a new year. And there has been a lot of work put into this. He’s worked on it as well and I am certain that he and many others, do not, are not looking forward to having to begin again. But that’s going to require that cooler heads prevail in conference negotiation.
Peterson has said he’s confident a Farm bill can be completed by years’ end.
That’s our report from the Farm. I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader