Friday, November 15, 2013

The Clock is Ticking for Kristi Noem and the Farm Bill

It has been a long time since I have had a chance to post.  Between debate, papers, and family, posting gets to take a backseat.  The only thing that seems to have changed since I have lasted posted is my facial hair (Celebrating Mo-vember).  One thing that hasn't changed is Kristi Noem reminding us that she has no real voice in Washington.  To me it seems that one of the biggest issues for her reelection chances is the passage of a Farm Bill.  

Kristi seems optimistic that something will get done, but that is not the first time that she believed that a farm bill would pass.  She spoke with ranchers already suffering from Noem's inability to push her good buddy John Boehner to get farm bill passed and told them, just wait longer, I am sure this time I can pass something...maybe...possibly...

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-.S.D., told reporters Nov. 14 that farm bill conferees could reach an agreement as soon as a week or two. That bill, if it can muster the votes in Congress, would provide livestock indemnity payments or disaster aid to producers who lost livestock. 
The Senate version would provide 65 percent of the market value of cattle lost, while the House bill has a 75 percent figure. Noem said she expects the program to be included in the final farm bill. 
Even though the conferees might agree on a package fairly soon, it still would have to be approved by both the Senate and the House, which could take much longer but might be done by the end of the year.
It appears that not everyone thinks that a farm bill will get passed.  Just ask Senator Thune:
Thune said he is hopeful about completing a new farm bill by year’s end, but he does not share Noem’s optimism. 
“There’s a lot of skepticism around here that it can happen,” Thune said. 
It not only seems like Congress is going to fail for another 2 years without farm bill reforms, but this could be the last farm bill we ever see.

If Congress fails to pass a new bill, a second extension is likely, Flinchbaugh said.
"There is some talk we will do that for two years because we don't want to be messing with this during an election year," Flinchbaugh said. "Or, we implement the permanent legislation."... 
Given the impasse on this farm bill - which traditionally has had bipartisan support - some farm analysts are suggesting this could be the last farm bill, ending 80 years of U.S. farm policy designed to protect farm price and income. 
"If we remove food and nutrition bills from the farm bill this is the last one," Flinchbaugh said. "If we keep the consumer-farmer coalition together there will be future farm bills." 
"There are 400 urban districts in the House of Representatives and 35 rural districts. When you're a minority like farmers - granted they are a potent minority because they produce food - but you remove nutrition and food stamp programs from the farm bill, the leverage is over.
Kristi reminds me of the blanket comments from my novice debaters who, unsure of what they are doing and lack a complete understanding of the topic, claim that they are undefeated and have won every round that they debated.  Here is hoping that Kristi can be right for once on the passage of a farm bill.

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