There is optimism for an on-time Farm Bill now that these hurdles are done, according to Rep Lucas

There is some growing optimism that this year’s Farm Bill will be passed on time.

Former House Ag Chair, Frank Lucas says that Congress has overcome one of the most important hurdles to get it done this year.

“One of the most important things we had to do was pass a piece of legislation dealing not only with the debt ceiling but setting spending levels for the next few years. The allocation process in the House and Senate is going on,” Rep Lucas states. “As we wait for those final numbers in the House, Chairman Thompson is now moving us in the direction of not just hearing here in DC, but also field hearings around the country laying the groundwork.”

However, despite a push to get the bill passed on time, Lucas also emphasizes a one-year extension is better than a weak legislation.

“If a one-year extension means that we have a better set of budget numbers a year from now if it helps facilitate a strong five-year Farm Bill, then yes, I will take an extension. After all, we got the ’14 Farm Bill two years after the previous bill was set to come to an end. We had to do the extensions, but it ultimately goes to the ’14 bill that became the base bill in ’18 that I believe will be the base bill then in 2023 to 2024, depending on what happens,” he adds.

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee is debating the ag budget before lawmakers take a 4th of July recess.