Boozman not worried about RSC farm bill proposal
|In wide-ranging comments to reporters after a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing Tuesday, Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the ranking member on the committee, said he is not worried about House Republicans making draconian changes to the farm bill if Republicans take charge of the House as expected.|
|Asked whether he fears the Republican Study Committee farm bill proposal that would remove the nutrition title from the bill, eliminate the sugar program and make other changes, Boozman told The Hagstrom Report that “every time we work on a farm bill, those issues come up. I want a farm bill that will get more votes than [Sen.] Pat Roberts [R-Kan.],” a reference to the 2018 farm bill that passed the Senate 86 to 11.|
Boozman and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., both told reporters that they are “working on” getting floor votes to confirm two of President Biden’s nominees as soon as possible. The nominees are Alexis Taylor to be agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs and Jose Emilio Esteban to be agriculture undersecretary for food safety.
Biden has also nominated Margo Schlanger to be agriculture assistant secretary for civil rights, but Boozman voted against her in committee. Schlanger got the approval of most of the committee, but Boozman said her nomination will come up on the Senate floor only if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., decides to bring it up. With this Congress coming to a close at the end of the calendar year, floor time is a precious commodity. Rural Voices USA on Tuesday released a statement urging Schumer to bring up her nomination.
“Given her experience and career-long commitment to civil rights and public service, Professor Schlanger will be critical in ensuring that USDA programs are accessible to all and treat everyone in our rural communities fairly,” the group said.
Asked about passing a cryptocurrency bill in the midst of the bankruptcy filing by FTX, Boozman said he, Stabenow and other members of the committee are still trying to figure out exactly what happened with FTX. The Senate Agriculture Committee bill would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission clear authority to regulate digital currencies that are considered to be commodities, but it is important to provide as much consumer protection as possible, Boozman said. Some aspects of regulation of cryptocurrencies need to be worked out between the CFTC and the Securities Exchange Commission, he added.
Boozman said he believes there will be more Senate Agriculture Committee meetings before the end of the calendar year.