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Lucas Talks Farm Bill Extension


frank LucasTalk of a two-year extension of the farm bill might be an attempt to slow the bill’s consideration until it can be written under different leadership. That’s what House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas told The Hagstrom Report in a weekend interview. But if the way to prevent the House version of the farm bill from being a big part of the conference committee is to wait Lucas out – he said they need to understand he means to finish this bill – now. Under House Republican rules – Lucas is scheduled to end his term as Ag Committee Chair when this Congress concludes in 2014. But Lucas will seek re-election in 2014 – and if the farm bill doesn’t pass – he says he’ll go to the Republican Steering Committee and ask for an extension. According to Lucas – extending his chairmanship so he can finish a bill he’s worked on for so long is a legitimate issue the steering committee would have to consider. If farm bill opponents use House Republican rules as a weapon – Lucas says he’ll fight on every stage.

But running for re-election isn’t simply about finishing the farm bill. Lucas also wants to monitor its implementation. He says implementation is even more challenging than getting the legislation passed. He says he would work with the next chairman to make sure the policies get implemented.