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Russell Nemetz Farm Bill is Lame Duck Priority
by Russell Nemetz, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: November 09, 2018

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U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, who likely will retake the chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee, said Wednesday his top priority right now is to get a farm bill done in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress that will start next week.

Peterson, a Democrat from Minnesota, won his 14th term Tuesday night. Peterson said he got a phone call from USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue late in the evening congratulating Peterson and encouraged him to help get a farm bill done quickly.

"That's going to be the No. 1 goal," Peterson told reporters on a conference call. "I think we're relatively close, and I think we can work this out and get this done before this Congress adjourns."

President Donald Trump, in a White House news conference Wednesday, was asked about the farm bill, which he said "is working really well." But the president also complained about Democrats delaying the farm bill because "Democrats are not giving us the 10 votes we need. The democrats are not approving the farm bill with work rules." Trump was pointing to contention over work requirements for people on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid.

Peterson said he talked with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a couple of days ago, and she indicated to him that she wants to work on a bipartisan basis to get the farm bill done, as well as work on an infrastructure package and areas such as ethics reform.

Until now, current House Ag Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, has been dogged by tightening work requirements in SNAP. Peterson thinks that Conaway's stance may loosen a little bit. Peterson has maintained the problem is not tougher work and job training requirements for SNAP recipients, but restricting the ability of states to avoid current work requirements.

Source: DTN

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