Peterson: House farm bill ‘settled’

Rep. Colin Peterson D.-Minn.

The final details of the House farm bill were “settled” in the House Agriculture Committee last Thursday and the details should be released by the end of the week before a markup next Wednesday, House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said on Saturday, according to a report in the Fargo, N.D., Forum.

Peterson said the spending cut will be “significantly more” than the $23.6 billion the Senate cut in its bill, and that most of the additional cut will come from nutrition programs, but he declined to reveal details.

“It is going to make a lot of Democrats angry; it will make the Republicans a little more happy, but for some of them, it still won’t be enough for them,” Peterson said. “But it’s something I think that is justified and we can live with.”

Peterson said he expects the bill to be made public Thursday or Friday.

Peterson said that within a “couple days” of the markup he wants the House Republican leadership to schedule the bill for consideration on the House floor before Congress leaves for its summer recess on August 3.

“But if they don’t give us some indication of putting this on the floor, then I’m going to turn the heat up, and if I have to, I’m going to spend all day every day calling every farm radio station in the United States in every state and ratchet up the heat on them, and I encourage everybody else to do that as well,” he said. “I think that in the end, they’ll come around.”

Peterson believes Congress should pass a bill before the 2008 farm bill expires on September 30.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appeared with Peterson at a news conference, the Forum reported. Klobuchar said she will also keep pressure on the House to take up the measure and that it affects the entire country, not just farming areas.