Representatives Collin Peterson (DFL-MNCD7) and Tim Walz (DFL-MNCD1), both members of the House Ag committee, are so not pleased that Speaker John Boehner refused to appoint conferees before Friday's adjournment to craft a single Farm Bill.
The Fargo Forum's Jerry Hagstrom reports in Peterson upset with House refusal to appoint farm bill conferees:
Three Upper Midwest senators have been named conferees on the farm bill, but the House Republican leadership’s refusal to appoint conferees and a plan for the House to vote on a big cut to the food stamp program means prospects for the bill passing this year have dimmed.
Democratic Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota were all named to the conference committee on the farm bill on Thursday, the day the Senate left Washington for a five-week recess.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, refused to name conferees until the House comes back into session in September, and that probably won’t take place until a final decision is made on whether to bring up a nutrition bill that would cut the food stamp program –officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – by $40 billion over 10 years. . . .
Peterson said the House leadership’s proposed nutrition bill would kill any chance of passing a farm bill this year.
“There they go again,” Peterson said in a statement. “Apparently, the Republican leadership plans to bring up yet another political messaging bill to nowhere in an effort to try and placate the extreme right wing of their party. Clearly, they have no interest in compromise or actual legislating.”
Peterson said adding an additional $20 billion in nutrition cuts, on top of the poison-pill nutrition amendments that brought down the Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan farm bill in June, effectively kills any hopes of passing a five-year farm bill this year.
“I’ve repeatedly told these guys, we don’t have to do this,” he said. “If the House would just name conferees, members can conference the House ‘farm-only’ bill with the Senate’s farm bill during August and produce a compromise for both Houses to pass.”
KTOE Mankato reports in Congressman Tim Walz of Mankato pushes for Farm Bill that the Southern Minnesota Democrat appealed to the Speaker from the House floor:
Minnesota Representative Tim Walz of Mankato, Ranking Member of the House Ag Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry gave Speaker Boehner an ear-full Friday.
"All you have to do Mr. Speaker, very seldom you get this simple choice, appoint conferees and finish our business for America, or go on vacation. Now I taught sixth grade for many years. The rule in our class was you don't go to recess until you finish your work."
Congressman Walz pointed out that last night, the U.S. Senate took action and appointed Farm Bill conferees.
On Thursday Walz led a coalition of 50 Members of Congress in sending a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to name conferees.
Here's the speech:
The Mankato Free Press staff writer Mark Fischenich reports in Stalled farm bill big topic at Farmfest that Peterson, Walz and Senator Al Franken will address the situation next week at the ginormous farm show in Redwood County:
House Agriculture Committee members Collin Peterson and Tim Walz and Sen. Al Franken are scheduled to be at the event Tuesday, the opening day of the three-day festival at the Gilfillan Estate between Morgan and Redwood Falls. With the current farm bill set to expire on Oct. 1 and Congress in recess throughout August, the House and Senate are only getting farther apart.
Farmers and other southern Minnesotans interested in hearing Walz and Peterson speak on the farm bill and other agricultural issues can attend the 10:30 a.m. forum Tuesday at Farmfest's new Wicks Buildings Farmfest Center. The congressmen will be joined by representatives of several farm organizations for the forum called "Reaching an Endpoint on a New Farm Bill."
Franken will keynote a 1:15 p.m. forum Tuesday at the same location on renewable energy policy.
Bluestem will be ambling down the road from sunny Maynard and will let you know what we hear from the gathered tillers of the soil.
Image: It's just a bill--or two versions right now, and since Boehner refused to appoint House conferees, it will stay that way until at least September.
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