As Americans count down the days to Thanksgiving, the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction continue their efforts to craft a bipartisan plan to present to Congress by the November 23 deadline. Some Washington insiders say the pace of negotiations is quickening while others hold little hope that the supercommittee will reach agreement soon on a plan to cut the nation's deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.
Because the Congressional Budget Office likely would need a few days to run the numbers on any deal submitted by the supercommittee, the window to the deadline is closing fast. If the deadline comes and goes without a plan, it's possible the supercommittee and others in Congress could work through Thanksgiving weekend to finish the proposal.
The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have yet to submit their recommendations to the supercommittee, missing their self-imposed deadline of November 1 to provide details on the $23 billion in agriculture cuts that they have offered. The agriculture leaders making these decisions are Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), chair and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Representatives Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.
IDFA Opposes Supply Control
Although not all details are final, IDFA has been told that the proposed package of agriculture cuts will include some of the provisions in the Dairy Security Act of 2011, H.R. 3062, a bill sponsored by Peterson. IDFA opposes H.R. 3062 because it includes a new government supply-control program that would require handlers to reduce payments to dairy producers and instead send these payments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"IDFA continues to raise awareness on Capitol Hill that Peterson's bill would limit the dairy industry's growth, hurt U.S. job creation and stifle our efforts to become a consistent dairy exporter," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy. "We appreciate the efforts of our many members who have contacted their congressmen directly to oppose the closed-door sessions and any plans to include a supply-control program in recommendations to the supercommittee."
If the supercommittee does offer a deficit-reduction plan by November 23, Congress has until December 23 to approve or reject the recommendations in a yes or no vote. According to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in a post yesterday on AgWeb.com, the plan will only require 51 votes in the Senate instead of the normal 60.
For more information, contact Slominski at email@example.com.