Quick Politics Update

Yesterday I wrote a post about Chairman Peterson wanting to cut one type of trade-friendly payments to increase another type of payments that are not trade friendly. It looks like he won't have to cut the trade-friendly direct payments. From Congressional Quarterly, via FarmPolicy.com:

Congressional Quarterly reporter Catharine Richert reported yesterday that, “The top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee has backed off a plan to cut one type of farm subsidy and boost another.”

The CQ article added that, “Agriculture Chairman Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., had wanted to shrink the [direct payment] program — which pays farmers annually based on their acreage and the type of crop they grow — and spend more money on the countercyclical and loan-deficiency subsidies that kick in when the price of a crop drops.

“But after talking to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday evening, Peterson realized that he would not have to cut direct payments to afford increases in the other subsidies.”

While it appears Peterson will not cut direct payments, he is certainly not proposing to increase them, as the administration wishes.

Additionally, we previously noted a plan to offer the various "reform farm bills", such as Rep. Kind's FARM 21 proposal, when the full House Agriculture Committee meets next week. In fact, those amendments will be offered today. From DTN, again via FarmPolicy.com:

“House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., told reporters Thursday he expects Agriculture General Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee Chairman Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., to bring up alternative 2007 farm bill proposals and possibly vote on them when that subcommittee meets Tuesday.

Lastly, it appears that Republicans will offer an amendment to simply extend the current farm bill.

Thanks again to Keith Good at FarmPolicy.com and Tom Karst at Fresh Talk.

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