Even though I’ve only been on the job for a short period of time, I was happy to override the President’s veto and help deliver a Farm Bill that our farmers need. When I was elected, I told my colleagues that I wanted to serve on the House Ag Committee. That’s a committee where I can have a positive impact on farmers in my state. And I can assure you that I checked with many farmers in Mississippi’s First Congressional District before I voted to override that presidential veto.
If I had to describe the Farm Bill in one word, it would be “relief.” I’m just extremely glad that we finally have a bill that is now the law guiding our farming decisions. Obviously, we had to give up some things in this bill, but the main thing is that we can now move on and make our plans. Until this bill was eventually passed, it was impossible to develop budgets for our various crops.
What I know about this Farm Bill is that there are provisions that will definitely affect all cotton producers. What did emerge was a good safety net for cotton. I think our industry representatives are to be commended for developing a bill under very difficult circumstances. It was a long and difficult situation for everyone involved, and it’s unfortunate that the mainstream media have portrayed the bill in such a negative way. In the end, our Congressional friends helped deliver a bill that is good for the farm sector. We’ll definitely have to adjust to new rules, but overall it’s a good bill for ag.
Everybody was surprised at how long it took to finally get the Farm Bill through Congress. It was a contentious process that took a lot of negotiating between political leaders. To be honest with you, it became sort of ridiculous that it took this long. This latest chapter in the process just reinforces the thought that many people already have about Congress and Washington, in general. Something is broken and the system needs to be fixed. That’s what voters are saying. This wasn’t an optional bill. This was legislation that had to be passed in a timely fashion, and it wasn’t.
Under the circumstances and
considering the length of time that Congress worked on this bill, I
think our industry is very fortunate. There are some major changes in
it – especially in the payment eligibility area. But I think we
can work around these things and live with them. Hopefully, we have
an adequate safety net for farmers. The process itself was almost unbearable
because it took so long, but I guess that’s to be expected when
you’re dealing with Congress. I’m just thankful that we
finally have a bill.