WASHINGTON – At least one side of the aisle in the House Ag Committee wants to put the 2007 farm bill on hold while the U.S. deals with WTO ag negotiations.
House Agriculture Committee Ranking Democrat Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Agriculture Committee member Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., introduced a bill that would extend the 2002 farm bill until 2008.
The legislators said the move would provide certainty to farmers and to allow U.S. negotiators to focus on the ongoing Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations.
Stay the course. The Peterson-Costa bill extends the 2002 farm bill for one year. That would extend the farm bill’s commodity title through crop year 2008 and would extend the remaining titles through either fiscal year or calendar year 2008, depending on their current expiration date.
If the president does not submit implementing legislation based on the outcome of the Doha Round by Jan. 15, 2008, there would be an additional one year extension.
“An extension of the farm bill will both encourage our global trading partners to work toward a level playing field and give us time to analyze the outcome of the Doha Round before rewriting our own farm policy,” Rep. Costa said.
Joining Peterson and Costa as original co-sponsors are 15 other Democratic members of the House Ag Committee.
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