"This is the law of the land," Chairman Lucas declares about direct payments...
The House Agriculture Committee, chaired by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), will hold its first full meeting of the 113th Congress next Wednesday, Jan. 23, the Committee announced today, to "consider organizational matters" for the months ahead. There are a number of new members; the new rosters for the House and Senate Agriculture Committee are here.
With the battle to create a new Farm Bill looming, Lucas this week said he expects farmers to be paid the crop subsidies for 2013 promised to them under the extended version of the expired Farm Bill, which was passed as part of President Obama's fiscal cliff tax legislation. The President and some lawmakers have pledged to eliminate the estimated $5 billion in annual direct payments, and Congress, in upcoming budget wrangling, could redirect the funds. These are typically issued in the Fall.
"While farmers and ranchers have been denied the five years of certainty a new farm bill would provide, folks in Washington need to stop the guessing game about farm policy for the 2013 crop year, especially with respect to direct payments," Lucas said in a statement to DTN.
"The existing safety net was extended a year to provide the certainty producers need for the 2013 crop year. This is the law of the land. Anyone familiar with the business of agriculture knows that producers across the country are making spring planting decisions and securing operating loans as we speak. And, I fully expect sign-up for the 2013 crop year--including direct payments--to begin as soon as possible.
Lucas added that the new Farm Bill his Committee will markup will "honor the commitment Congress made to growers when it extended the 2008 farm bill to cover the 2013 crop year."
Wednesday's meeting will be at 11:00 AM, at the 1300 Longworth House Office Building.