Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Frank Lucas has publically announced the date. The Committee will begin markup on the 2013 Farm Bill on May 15.
“May 15th is a go. We have not issued the official markup notice yet, but both the Ranking Member Peterson and myself are discussing this in public. I think we have an understanding, leadership has been alerted. May 15th, I believe that’s a Wednesday, we will markup the 2013 farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee,” said Chairman Lucas in his interview with Radio Oklahoma Network.
Congressman Cheri Bustos, Congressman Rodney Davis, and Congressman Bill Enyart are the Illinois representation on the House Ag Committee. If you are in their districts, have they heard from you lately? Do they understand how much you rely on crop insurance and how much you need a robust crop insurance program?
Aside from nutrition programs, the federal crop insurance program is the largest budget item in the 2012 Farm Bill, the document from which the House Ag Committee will begin negotiations for the 2013 Farm Bill. Chairman Lucas has also publically discussed his plan to cut $38 billion dollars from the bill, which leaves the crop insurance line item with a huge target on its back.
With rain delays likely this coming week, spend a few moments protecting your future by calling Cong Bustos, R. Davis, and Enyart to remind them how valuable the crop insurance program was for you during the drought last year and how valuable it could be this year since you still aren’t in the field. Remind them that last year was the first year in recent history when farmers weren’t calling for disaster assistance in the face of complete devastation. Ask for their support for crop insurance programs during farm bill mark up next week.
Congressman Cheri Bustos, District 17, 202-225-5905
Congressman Rodney Davis, District 13, 202-225-2371
Congressman Bill Enyart, District 12, 202-225-5661
Chairman Lucas further addressed his goal for more cuts. “We will begin with a draft that essentially is the 2012 document. There have been some adjustments in some points simply because of the various entities like OMB and CBO have rescored some of our expenditures, our savings, and we’ve had to make adjustments to reflect that. But, we’re going to have choice. We’re going to save money. We’re going to do it in a bipartisan way. We’re going to have a safety net for all crops in all regions. And we’re going to make sure our fellow citizens who need help have something to eat.”