House Agriculture panel keeps farm bill dairy program opposed by Boehner

ADVERTISEMENT
“I have to move the puzzle forward ... we have to have a farm bill when all this is over with,” Lucas said. 

The current farm bill expires Sept. 30, and lawmakers want a new bill before the August recess. 

Goodlatte argued that dairy should have access to margin insurance without a requirement that farmers participate in a program to limit production. He cited opposition by House GOP leaders to the dairy program as a reason the farm bill failed last year.

“Do we want run into this wall again?” he said. 

Scott argued that poor communities need lower milk prices, but his argument won over few other Democrats.

Peterson said that chronic overproduction has devastated the industry and that margin insurance without supply management would further encourage too much production and unsustainably low prices. 

The amendment was the only major change voted on to the farm bill’s commodity title, which governs farm subsidies. Goodlatte withdrew an amendment to change the controversial sugar program, which provides nonrecourse loans and limits imports. 

Overall, the Lucas-Peterson draft cuts deficits by $40 billion over 10 years — $17 billion more than the draft bill working its way through the Senate.

A big debate is expected later in the day on the bill's $20.5 billion in cuts to the food stamp program.