Farm Bill- Policy Issues
Matthew Weaver reported yesterday at the Capital Press Online that, “Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., says she’ll be watching implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill to make sure new rules and provisions will be workable for farmers in Eastern Washington. McMorris Rodgers anticipates providing more leadership for agriculture issues after Rep. Doc Hastings retires at the end of 2014.
“Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers represents Washington’s 5th district, which includes much of Eastern Washington. As chair of the House Republican Conference, she is currently the fourth highest-ranking Republican. She was first elected in 2004.”
The Capital Press article, which continued in a “Q and A” format, added that, “Within the farm bill, the crop insurance program is especially important to our wheat growers. They gave up direct payments, but we need to have that crop insurance safety net as they move forward,” Rep. Rodgers noted.
And on the issue of immigration, Rep. Rodgers indicated that, “Obviously within agriculture, we continue to have significant workforce needs. For Washington state, in any given year, we need between 80,000 and 100,000 people to help pick our product. Our current H-2A guest worker program will provide 5,000 to 10,000, so it doesn’t come close to meeting the need. It is very important that we are taking steps to fix what is a broken immigration system. I’m hopeful we’re going to continue to see more progress on this front in 2014. Several of these bills have passed the judiciary committee in the House, and I think we’re going to start seeing more of those bills come to the floor.”