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Chairman Peterson ready to move on next farm bill

February 18, 2010

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee plans to accelerate the debate on the next farm bill.

After hinting that he would begin farm bill hearings this year, Rep. Collin Peterson announced this week he will hold three hearings on Capitol Hill in late March and April and additional field hearings in July.  Congress Daily reported:

Speaking by telephone to the American Association of Crop Insurers convention, Peterson said he is not an advocate of using the fast-track option, but he believes international concerns about U.S. finances and difficulties in selling U.S. bonds overseas might force the next Congress to consider reconciliation as a way to rein in spending.

“This budget is completely out of control,” Peterson said. “We have a very good possibility after this election, no matter who wins, to force the mother of all reconciliation.”

Congress passed a farm bill in the mid 1990s using reconciliation.

If a reconciliation bill does not affect the process, Peterson said, he plans to proceed with writing the bill early in 2011, mark it up that fall and finish it before the current bill expires.

Click here to see a local TV news report of Minnesota sugar beet farmers in Peterson’s district reacting to the news that their congressman wants an early start on the next farm bill.

The 2008 farm bill expires on September 30, 2012.

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