House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas has been saying for months that if a big agreement is made to address the national deficit – there have to be savings elsewhere to make those adjustments. He says agriculture – $35 billion in savings in the House Committee’s version of the farm bill – is ready to do its part. Lucas says his goal is still to do regular order to complete a new, five-year farm bill during the lame duck session, but he says the fiscal cliff scenario now is the priority.
Without his crystal ball, Lucas says there are two possible scenarios where everything could work out. One is a complete farm bill dropped into t grand package. The other scenario is a bill that spells out what cuts have to be achieved by different parts of the government – including the farm bill – with a reconciliation date and an expedited procedure to pass the bill.