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Rep. Frank Lucas Voices Plans for House Agriculture Committee

December 10, 2010

In an interview with DTN agriculture policy editor Chris Clayton published on Friday, December 10, Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK) outlined his plans as chair of the next House Agriculture Committee.

Lucas, who takes over the committee next month, appears determined and hopeful about completing a farm bill for President Obama to sign by mid-2012, just before the presidential and congressional elections.  The new Chairman told DTN that despite the boon it might give to President Obama’s re-election campaign, “I’m going to try to work very hard to get a farm bill to President Obama that he can proudly sign in the late summer of 2012.”

The House Agriculture Committee will likely spend much of 2011 educating the large class of freshman Congressmen about agriculture policy, as well as conducting oversight of Obama-administration activities.  Lucas mentioned EPA rules and the USDA rules to strengthen implementation of the Packers and Stockyards Act.  Lucas told Reuters reporter Charles Abbot on Thursday that he believes “USDA is going farther than Congress intended” with the livestock market competition rule.

Lucas also discussed his viewpoints on some key farm-bill points of debate, including whether direct payment or revenue insurance programs are better for U.S. agriculture.  Lucas favors direct payment programs, citing their compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.  “Since we joined the World Trade Organization, it comes down to the question of whether our farm programs are compliant.  Direct payments are the most compliant, the least trade-distorting,” Lucas said.

To listen to an interview with Lucas by the Oklahoma Farm Report and also read more analysis of Lucas’ plans as future committee chair, click here.

Categories: Farm Bill

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