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House Ag and Budget Committee Members Talk Farm Bill

House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Ranking Republican Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., lobby Budget Committee for more farm bill funding.

House Agriculture Committee leaders urged the House Budget Committee Wednesday to increase funds for the 2007 Farm Bill.

Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., and Ranking Republican Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told members of the Budget Committee that the financial resources allotted in the most recent CBO baseline is not enough.

"Throughout our hearings, a common concern shared by farmers and ranchers of all facets of agricultural production was the increasing cost of environmental compliance requirements.  I asked the Budget Committee for the resources needed to help our farmers and ranchers, who are our first and best stewards of the land, to comply with the complex and costly web of federal regulation that govern land use," Goodlatte told the legislators.

The Agriculture Committee said new proposals in the 2007 Farm Bill, especially dealing with renewable energy such as ethanol and biodiesel, will require additional resources.

"The bottom line is that additional resources are needed to produce a policy that facilitates a strong farm sector and helps our nation move toward energy independence in a fiscally responsible way," Peterson says.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns also outlined USDA's farm bill proposal and budget request before the Budget Committee on Thursday. While he says USDA's proposed market-based safety net for farmers would save money by not giving aid more appropriately, he is requesting more money for conservation and nutrition programs and for biofuel research and development.

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