House Agriculture Committee sets agenda

By Agri-Pulse staff

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 - The House Agriculture Committee approved its oversight plan for the 113th Congress today. The plan sets the committee's agenda during this Congress and lists key policy issues in the committee's jurisdiction that will be examined.

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House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said he prepared the plan with Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn. He announced the first hearing of the committee in this Congress will be on the state of the rural economy on Feb. 26.

“Another matter of oversight will be making certain that the one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill is implemented in a way that provides producers with certainty for the 2013 crop year,” Lucas said. He added in later comments that he hopes a new five-year farm bill will be tackled shortly after Congress addresses the sequestration trigger on March 1, the continuing resolution deadline on March 27, as well as the debt ceiling debate.

Peterson agreed, noting that based on conversations with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, he is “a little more optimistic” about a farm bill passing this year. He also said members do not yet know if direct payments will be impacted by sequestration, although Lucas noted that “everything is on the table anyway.”

Other issues Lucas highlighted in the committee's plan include oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and its implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, reauthorization of the CFTC, and oversight of government regulations impacting producers.  

Each committee must adopt an oversight plan and submit it to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on House Administration by February 15. 

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