Missouri Representative Says Window Still Open for Farm Bill

There is still time for completion of the Farm Bill, but the clock is ticking.

Representative Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., spoke at a farmer appreciation banquet Tuesday night and says that if the Senate can pass their Farm Bill there is still time to get this important piece of legislation done.

"I think we have a fairly good window," Hulshof says. "However the clock is ticking and we need to come together on this quickly."

Last week, several Representatives introduced a bill that would extend the 2002 Farm Bill for one year. House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson, D-Minn., says that move is premature and would cause a loss of momentum that could push the bill into the distant future.

"I agree with Collin that it's too early," Hulshof says. "If we lose the momentum we're going to run into the inevitability of the election. And it will be more difficult to get things done, because people will be looking at November of '08; not necessarily Presidential politics, but who's going to control Congress in the next session."

Hulshof is optimistic that if the Senate can pass its bill, the conference committee to resolve differences will be much less contentious that the one for the 2002 Farm Bill, and that the House and Senate can find middle ground.

"I hope we can regain the momentum on farm policy and get a bill to the President's desk," Hulshof says. "If it comes to the point that an extension of current legislation is necessary, I think we should do it, but really that should be our last resort."

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