Rouzer: Farm Bill Extension Provides Certainty for Farmers

SFN’s Mike Davis talked with Rep. David Rouzer to get this thoughts on the extension of the 2018 Farm Bill, approved by the House and Senate last week:

It was important to get an extension in place, just so that we have some certainty moving into next year. And of course, here it is mid-November. We’ve had a lot on the plate here in Congress, the past couple of months and the past two months in particular, as we have been trying to work through not only selecting the new speaker to getting as many of these appropriations bills passed as possible. And the Farm Bill technically expired September the 30th. That January 1 is probably the most serious deadline that we face with expiration of programs. And of course, perhaps the real deadline is when the farmer goes to see the banker, you know, soon after the first of the year, so we thought it was really important to get an extension in place as quickly as we could to allow us the time that we’re going to need to get a farm bill out of the house out of committee first and then out of the house and of course negotiate with the Senate a final product that can be signed into law.

So the extension that was included as part of the continuing resolution that passed the other day will get us to September 30 of the next year 2024. And but we anticipate that sort and certainly the aim would be to try to have something done by the first quarter of this coming year. So by April one, have something out of the house that we can negotiate with the Senate on. So that’s the status there.

Pretty much all the programs are the same as they were before with this extension, with a couple of exceptions. But for our producers in North Carolina, pretty much status quo once we get final scoring back from the Congressional Budget Office, will be able to produce some language that the committee will consider and markup but after the first of the year, but right now we don’t have all the provisions that we need to have scored. And you’ve got to have that before we can before you can move forward. And that’s basically in accordance with the law.

So right now you’d say we’re in a holding pattern?

Well, we’re in a holding pattern in the in the context of the fact that you can’t move forward with legislation until you have the scores on all their aspects of the legislation. And when I refer to the term score, I’m referring to the Congressional Budget Office’s determination of how much these programs are going to cost the Treasury over the course of the next 10 years. The shorthand for saying all that is, it’s a score.