WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2013 – House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., today named conferees to the upcoming farm bill conference with the Senate.

The House conferees include 17 Republicans and 12 Democrats.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said he was pleased to begin negotiations.

“This has been a long and challenging process, but that does not discount the product we have achieved with billions of dollars in savings and reforms, and policy that works for all of agriculture all across the country,” Lucas said.

Republican conferees from the House Agriculture Committee include: Lucas, Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, Mike Rogers, R-Ala., Michael Conaway, R-Texas, Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., Austin Scott, R-Ga., Rick Crawford, R-Ark., Martha Roby, R-Ala., Kristi Noem, R-S.D., Jeff Denham, R-Calif., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill.

Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., will serve as a leadership conferee.

Republican conferees from the House Foreign Affairs Committee include Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.

Republican conferees from the House Ways and Means Committee include Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.

Pelosi said House Democratic conferees will “offer an extraordinary level of leadership, dedication, and wide-ranging expertise in our work to restore stability to our farmers and ranchers, our rural communities, and American families across the country.”

Democratic conferees from the House Agriculture Committee include: ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., Reps. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Jim Costa, D-Calif., Tim Walz, D-Minn., Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif., and Filemon Vela, D-Texas.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, will serve as a leadership conferee.

House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sandy Levin, D-Mich., also were named conferees.

Crawford said he is honored to be named a conferee.

“As I have said on multiple occasions, having an adequate safety net for producers is a matter of national security,” Crawford said. “I am confident that the final product will be a reflection of the needs of both American consumers and producers.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said conferees must reject the $40 billion proposed cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the House proposal.

“If their policy becomes law, over four million of our nation’s most vulnerable people, including children, seniors, veterans and the disabled, will lose access to the food they need,” DeLauro said. “This is even as Republicans continue to give $90 billion in crop insurance subsidies to some of America’s wealthiest families and agribusiness.”

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, applauded the House movement toward a conference. 

“There is a lot of work to be done and this is a long-awaited announcement,” Johnson said. “I hope the conferees will consider the needs of all family farmers, ranchers, consumers and hungry Americans throughout its deliberations, and ultimately present a five-year, comprehensive bill with an adequate safety net that can be supported by both houses of Congress and by the president for adoption before the end of the year.”

Jim Mulhern, chief operating officer of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), also welcomed the House action.

“NMPF will be working in the coming days to remind both the Senate and House conferees of the importance of a balanced and cost-effective dairy program,” Mulhern said. “The Senate’s bipartisan Dairy Security Act is the only program designed to both help farmers when they need it most, while also limiting taxpayers’ liability through its market stabilization mechanism.”



For more news, go to www.agri-pulse.com.