While the summer drought
deepens, the US House of Representatives have passed a bill to extend
disaster assistance to livestock producers but adjourned for summer recess
without passing the larger Farm Bill.
Nebraska Congressman Adrian
Smith held a conference call Thursday where he addressed questions about why the
2012 Farm Bill hasn't made it out of Congress. Smith said he
thinks the sticking point is whether the bill contains enough cuts to the
food stamp program. Smith says that while he wants the Farm Bill
passed, he also wants to make sure that the bill is fiscally responsible.
Smith says that while he wants the Farm Bill passed, he also wants to make sure that the bill is fiscally responsible. Rep. Adrian Smith, (R) Nebraska said, "I want to keep an open mind on how we can get a farm bill done. I do have my concerns that this is an opportunity to tighten down the spending and we're not taking advantage of that opportunity."
The Farm Bill has already been approved by the Senate, and U.S. Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska said Thursday that while he supports the Senate version of the bill over the House version. He'd be okay with anything that can help Nebraska farmers at this point. Sen. Mike Johanns, R) Nebraska said, "Although I'm not a big fan of it, I would support the House effort to address the needs of livestock producers for immediate drought relief... and fund those programs for this year."
Congressman Smith did address the matter of passing emergency drought relief. He said while he's not necessarily opposed to it, he cautions that lawmakers need to be careful not to undermine the current crop insurance programs that are in place.
He also added that with the recess coming next week lawmakers can plan to hear from upset ag producers if nothing gets done soon.
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