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Vilsack, Lucas not yet briefed on Conrad plan

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., has not briefed either Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack or House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., on his proposal to merge the countercyclical, average crop revenue election and disaster aid programs into one, but both Vilsack and Lucas said today they look forward to hearing his presentation.

Conrad has proposed that the super committee include his bill in the deficit reduction plan it is developing, rather than President Barack Obama’s proposal to extend disaster aid, eliminate direct payments and cut crop insurance and conservation programs,

Conrad has said he is “vetting” his bill with colleagues and farm leaders.

After participating in the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance "Food Dialogues" event, Vilsack told reporters that he and Conrad have not talked recently, but that he “would be happy to visit with him when he has the time.”

Lucas said he and Conrad have not had an opportunity to visit about the proposal.