The large forest fires in California prompted a review “with a fine-tooth comb” of proposed Farm Bill language, but U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, expressed hope Tuesday that leading Senate and House conferees will announce an overall agreement on a Farm Bill compromise.
The goal is to get the Farm Bill approved and sent to the White House before the end of the year. Potentially it could be voted on as a stand-alone bill or it could be put on an appropriations bill, Marshall said.
In a conference call with the press Tuesday, Marshall said the “big four” conferees — U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and U.S. Reps. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota — could announce a Farm Bill agreement Tuesday or Wednesday.
The California forest fires caused another look at the forestry component in the next Farm Bill. The fires really brought to the forefront forestry mismanagement and that good practices in forestry have not been used, Marshall said.
Roberts’ press secretary Sarah Little did not think the announcement would be Tuesday, but she said they “are very close.” Forestry is being debated on the leadership level, according to Little, and staff members have work to do, too, on the legislative package.
Marshall was part of a Congressional delegation that visited U.S. soldiers — including Kansas Guard members — in Kuwait over Thanksgiving. Defense spending has climbed during the Trump Administration to over $700 billion a year. Asked by the press if he would favor a further military spending hike, Marshall said he didn’t know where they were going to squeeze any more money out for the military.
Marshall has not read the climate report released by the government last week but said carbon emissions in the U.S. are significantly down. He said he is very concerned about ecology and favors a common sense approach, not an overreaction, to environmental regulation.