The House is still trying to pass a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. But deep divisions within the Republican Party are blocking progress on the measure. North Carolina Republican Congressman David Rouzer is a senior member of both the House Ag and infrastructure and transportation committees. And he told Agri-Pulse this week House leaders are working through several barriers to moving appropriations bills and a continuing resolution to keep the government operating.
This I know: you have leverage if you’re unified. You have no leverage, particularly in terms of negotiating with the Senate. And the White House if you’re not unified. And obviously, in the house. We have a conference so on the Republican side that as a as a lot of different viewpoints as it relates to what spending should look like moving forward. And my hope is that we can come to some agreement I want to own a car and perhaps even, you know, get an appropriate bill off the floor between now and September 30. But obviously, we have that September 30. Deadline, we’re going to have to have a car of some sort. And the question is, do we do a clean one do we do one that attaches some key conservative priorities such as border security, and some immigration reform which is starting to play really heavy and key Democrat districts and states across the board? So we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out. But obviously, that’s the fundamental question of the day. And if I had a crystal ball, I’d probably resigned from Congress and make a lot of money.
Rouzer sizes up the chances of a shutdown.
I think it’s certainly possible if not probable, given where we are today. But I still have confidence and belief that we can get something worked out by September 30. You know, that certainly is the desire of the vast, vast, vast majority of the Republican conference. And of course, you know, our margin is very tight. So we we need more than just a majority of the Republican conference. You know, we need almost all members of the Republican conference to come to agreement.
As for the Farm Bill, Rouzer says he’s cognizant of Freedom Caucus concerns about federal spending, but he’s looking at the big picture.
Well, first of all, a really good strong farm bill and the farm bill doesn’t know and farm law does need to be reauthorized obviously and strengthened in accordance with the new challenges that growers across the country face. Obviously, that’s gonna require some more funding. And obviously policy is dictated by the amount of funding that can be found and I know our chairman and others are looking for additional funding so that we can make improvements to that safety net. And one of the things I share with my colleagues in the House and to a degree in the Senate as well when I talked to him is there’s nothing more America first than a good strong farm bill that protects America’s producers, who by the way, face a number of challenges that you don’t face in other industries and direct threats that the other industries don’t necessarily face. So farmers, there’s a lot of lot of X Factor out there, not just weather, not just as not just disease, non-tariff trade barriers, currency manipulation, unfair trade practices, you name it, that our farmers and farm families have to overcome on a daily basis in order in order to make ends meet and survive.