Lobbyists: Cotton, dairy fixes likely in disaster bill | TheFencePost.com

Lobbyists: Cotton, dairy fixes likely in disaster bill

Key lobbyists for the cotton and dairy industry have told The Hagstrom Report they believe there will be fixes to the problems in the cotton and dairy programs in the package of appropriations and disaster funding Senate leaders are working on.

"I do think there is increasing optimism they can get the budget caps deal, and take care of some of the needs that have been hanging out there for awhile like disaster, dairy and cotton," said one lobbyist. "This would be a big win for agriculture going into the farm bill."

Congressional ag leaders say they hope changes to the cotton and dairy programs can be included in the disaster bill because they don't think they can find the budget authority to change those programs in the farm bill.

Several congressional aides said it is too early to comment, but more should be known later today (Feb. 7). One said, "It is a definite point of discussion but nothing definitive yet in terms of language or ultimate vehicle."

The disaster bill that the House passed to address the problems of hurricane and wildfire victims contained both cotton and dairy provisions, but the dairy industry has not been satisfied with them.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., are considered key figures in working on a deal that would satisfy both the cotton and dairy industries.