Peterson warns Boehner of 'fool's errand' on farm bill
January 4, 2013 — 11:20pm
Hopping mad about a stop-gap nine-month extension of current farm programs under the “fiscal cliff” deal, rural Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson fired off letters to House GOP leaders saying he sees “no reason why the House Agriculture Committee should undertake the fool’s errand” of writing another five-year farm bill in the new session of Congress.
Peterson’s letters to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor Thusday follow repeated refusals by GOP leadership to consider the Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan five-year farm bill during the last Congress and a “last-minute, backroom” nine-month farm bill extension that ignored the work of the House and Senate farm committees.
Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said that this time he wants an up-front written commitment from House leaders that any new farm legislation coming out of the committee will get a vote of the full House.
GOP Party Chairman Keith Downey released a letter to a party committee questioning the judgment and competency of Deputy Chairman Chris Fields just days ahead of the election for party officers in St. Cloud Saturday.