Farm Bill Pending
U.S. Senator John Thune says he hopes Congress can finalize a Farm Bill by next week.
The bill is now being fought over in conference committee, provisions dealing with the dairy industry are among the items holding up its passage.
Thune says he likes items in the bill that call for conservation, forestry, and disaster relief for ranchers.
But Thune says he voted against an earlier version of the bill because it included fixed commodity prices rather than reforms to create a market driven system.
“Fundamentally Farm Bills tend to be largely about the future of agriculture the policies that are going to shape its future. And, the commodity title of the bill really drives that,” says Thune. He adds, “and in my view this goes to an out dated sort of antiquated structure and framework for the commodity title of the bill which doesn’t take into consideration the need for us to really take farm policy in a direction where our farmers are producing not for the government, not making decisions predicated on policies the government puts in place, but what the market would suggest.”
Thune adds he’s unsure on the timeline for passage of the bill. He says congress goes into recess in the middle of the month, then returns for the president’s State of the Union address at the end of January. So, Thune says he hopes the Farm Bill can see a vote by next week.