The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


House won't mark up farm bill until after July 4 recess

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla.

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla.

The House Agriculture Committee will not hold a markup on a new farm bill until after the July 4 recess, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said today.

Politico reported this afternoon that Lucas had made the decision to postpone the markup after discussions with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who had earlier said that there would be little legislating this summer.

A House Republican list of bills likely to be considered did not include the farm bill.

Lucas said the markup is delayed because the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill will come up on the House floor next week. Lucas said that all members of the House Agriculture Committee will need to devote their attention to the appropriations bill and to protecting that bill against amendments that would onerous, a spokeswoman said.

Lucas has not given a specific date for the markup, the spokeswoman said.

According to the Politico article, Lucas confirmed the discussions with Cantor, but said, “It’s my hope that we will move shortly after we come back after the 4th. You can say that the chairman indicated come hell or high water the Agriculture Committee will do its work.”

Lucas also told Politico, “If I don’t do my work, the only document that exists is the Senate-passed bill. … Then I’m leaving a bunch of people exposed for the next five years and I will not let that happen ...”

“I know that the farm bill has always been probably one of the lesser issues of priority for many folks in the House,” Lucas said. “But it’s my opinion that with the Senate completing its work, with the House Ag committee soon to complete its work, the focus of the agriculture and rural community of America is going to be on the floor and this thing will build momentum all on its own.”

Cantor aides said that he has not ruled out action on a farm bill this summer, but wants to reassess the political situation, Politico said.

Lucas told Politico that antagonists on both sides of the farm bill will view the appropriations bill as a miniature farm bill.