The House Agriculture Committee is not going to hold a markup on the next farm bill until after the Fourth of July recess. Politico is reporting that Chairman Frank Lucas has decided to postpone the markup because the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill will come up on the House floor next week. According to Lucas – the committee members need to devote their attention to that process and to protecting that bill against potentially harmful amendments. He says antagonists on both sides of the farm bill will view the spending bill as a mini farm bill.
While Lucas has not given a specific date for the markup – it is reported that he hopes to move shortly after returning from the July 4th recess. Lucas told Politico that he will not leave a bunch of people exposed for the next five years – which is what would happen if he doesn’t do his work and the only document that exists is the Senate bill. But even if the Agriculture Committee completes its work – it’s unclear whether the House will act on the bill this summer. According to Politico – aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor say he has not ruled out summer action on the farm bill – but wants to reassess the political situation.
Source: NAFB News Service