Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Funding Package, Farm Bill Will Take Shape Soon, Harkin Says

The Senate Agriculture Committee may begin markup of its 2007 Farm Bill this week.

The committee markup process, once complete, will result in the bill that will go to the Senate floor. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who chairs the committee, told reporters Tuesday there is still hope for an agriculture committee markup of the bill in the next few days.

"The past week has seen some very good progress on the farm bill," said Harkin. "I've met with members of the committee four times in formal discussions, and we've had countless conversations with my colleagues individually. We're beginning to rally around a basic framework that makes sound investments in our national priorities, provides strong policy and moves our country forward."

The main hurdle the agriculture committee must overcome has been a lack of funds to pay for all the priorities of agriculture committee members. Harkin has plans for a variety of new programs, including a significant boost to environmental programs. He has been pushing the Senate Finance Committee to provide the additional revenue needed for these programs.

"These new investments will be supported by a variety of funding sources, one of which is the Senate finance tax package," said Harkin, explaining that he has been working with Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., to secure funds for the bill. "He's indicated the package in his committee will provide additional resources to help meet our farm bill funding shortfall."

Harkin said that a number of members of the agriculture committee do not want to act until the finance committee finalizes its funding package. The promise of the finance committee marking up its tax package this week fuels his optimism that the farm bill will come together quickly. "No one wants to move this farm bill more than I do, and I've been working every day to make that happen," he said.

But Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who serves on the agriculture committee and is the ranking Republican member of the finance committee, told reporters today that the finance committee's funding package "is still somewhat unsettled."

Grassley said the agriculture committee's markup, "since it's apt not to be this week," would be the week of Oct. 13.

1 comment:

Stevencap said...

The Alliance for American Manufacturing brings its national campaign of “Keep it Made in America” Town Hall meetings to Des Moines. TV and film star John Ratzenberger will host the event and encourage voters to demand answers from their political candidates on the important issues of strengthening U.S. manufacturing.



When:

Wednesday, Oct17, 2007

Doors 6 pm, show starts at 6:30 pm



Where:

Hy-Vee Hall of the IOWA EVENTS CENTER (730 Third Street Des Moines)



Ticket Information:

Admission is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to

rsvp@aamfg.org .



Official website:

http://www.americanmanufacturing.org/keep-it-made-in-america/