Senator Pat Roberts, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, is preparing for a long battle surrounding the renewal of the farm bill.
In a letter to President Obama, Roberts argued that the current administration’s policies regarding agricultural regulations “could negatively impact rural America,” challenging the president on a number of points of policy.
Central to his argument was an exchange between Obama and a farmer at an Illinois town hall meeting last week. The man charged that Obama’s policies will interfere with agricultural operations by restricting unavoidable circumstances that accompany farming, such as dust and noise pollution.
Obama brushed off such concerns as being the products of Washington lobbyists.
Roberts, however, supplied a list of proposed regulations which address precisely the concerns relayed to the president by the Illinois farmer.
While many of the concerns that Roberts raised in his letter cannot be directly tied to agricultural issues, the letter does mark the beginning of the debate over the size and substance of the new farm bill, over which deliberation should begin during the next congressional session.
Roberts plans to seek public input regarding the bill during a hearing in Wichita on Thursday, August 25. Those interested in participating in the hearing can submit written testimony to be considered with the official record of the event. Such testimony can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry
328A Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, D.C. 20510
The event itself will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Hilton Wichita Airport Hotel.