Like many folks in the farm community, the top Republican on the House Ag Committee is watching the Senate Ag Committee hearing on Climate Change Legislation with great interest. Congressman Frank Lucas says while he hopes the Senate can make further improvements to the legislation that barely passed the House, he almost certainly will not vote for the final product. Lucas tells us in a Wednesday morning conversation that when you strip everything else away, it is simply a massive energy tax of some $700 billion dollars annually and it will hurt agriculture across the country badly.
We also talked about health care reform- he does not think that the Democrats will be able to move Health Care Reform through the House before the August recess, although he admits it is still possible for them to do so.
On NAIS- the National Animal ID System- he believes that USDA will be very hard pressed to develop a mandatory system, even with House Ag Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro demanding that things be changed- or there will be no money for the program in Fiscal Year 2010.
Finally, we talked briefly about the Conservation Security Program and the problems with compliance by many of the contract holders.
To hear our full conversation with the Congressman from the Third District of Oklahoma- click here.
# # #