Clinton Daily News: Lucas’ leadership is appreciated

Clinton Daily News
By: Rod Serfoss
July 14, 2012

As the nation’s FARRM (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act) Bill moves forward on its long journey through Congress, we are glad that our own Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Cheyenne) is leading the U.S. House of Representatives down this rough and winding road.

As chair of the Committee on Agriculture, it is Lucas’ job to find a balance in a bill that must meet both rural and urban needs as well as on Wall Street.  When you consider the farm bill covers such a wide array of agencies-from the USDA and Rural Development to the Food and Drug Administration to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission- that is no easy talk.

Because of Lucas’ leadership, we believe the House Ag Committee has crafted a farm bill that is both tough and fair.

It is good for us all that the person at the helm is a farmer and rancher from western Oklahoma.  His firsthand experience in agri-business, combined with common sense only found in rural America, makes him the right person for the job.

Lucas knows firsthand how risky it is to make your living on the farm.  Things like the drought we are now experiencing can turn a dream crop into a disaster.  And, the last we checked, the government has not figured out a way to make rain.  Since so many things are totally out of your control, farming, especially in western Oklahoma, is a very risky business.  As chair of the Ag Committee, it is Lucas’ job to make representative from the big cities grasp what life is like on a family farm.

And lest we forget this bill isn’t all about farming.

Because his congressional district once included a big slice of northeast Oklahoma City, Lucas also understands many of the programs that are vital to the people living in urban areas.

Reducing government spending and reforming government programs is never an easy task.  Lucas has proved he is up to the challenge by continually demonstrating his ability to make difficult choices to cut costs and improve government efficiency so that our nation can once again live within its means. 

As presented, the farm bill reduces the federal deficit by $35 billion, repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs, closes loopholes (that include ending welfare benefits for multi-million-dollar lottery winners), and eliminates fraud, waste and abuse in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

While it’s not everything we wanted in a farm bill, we believe that under Lucas’ common-sense, reform-minded approach, the nation as a whole will benefit.

Now he has the tough task of selling the plan to the rest of Congress before the current farm bill expires Sept. 30.

We believe he is the right man for the job.

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