The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Boehner: No decisions on farm bill as Republicans disagree

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters today that no decisions have been made on how to proceed on the farm bill that failed to pass the House last week.

“There are a lot of conversations going on about the farm bill and the way forward. There have been no decisions,” Boehner said at his last news conference before the House leaves Friday for a break that will last until July 8.

Boehner did not answer a reporter’s question about whether he favors splitting the farm bill in two, with one bill on farm programs and another bill on food stamps.

Boehner’s comments came a day after Republicans privately and publicly disagreed about what direction to take, according to various media reports.

While House conservatives proposed splitting the bill in two pieces, Reps. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said they felt let down because Republican members won on amendments but did not support the bill on final passage.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., meanwhile, told the Oklahoma Farm Report that splitting the bill makes no sense.

“How many times have you heard me say in public that with the 2002 farm bill it became nutrition, it became a commodity title, and it became a conservation bill,” Lucas said in the interview.

“If we don’t have that three-legged stool, we can’t get by on one leg by ourselves,” he said.

“When you look at the so-called political activist groups on the East Coast, the paid mercenaries, they don’t want a farm bill, and that’s why they advocate these things. This is the best way to kill a farm safety net — split us up, chop us up and cause us to wilt and die.”