Policy

Boehner Predicts He'll Win Dairy Fight in Farm Bill

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner predicted Thursday that he'll win a fight over dairy regulations in the farm bill.

"I am confident that the conference report will not include supply management in the dairy program," the Ohio Republican told reporters at his weekly news conference.

Boehner, who hails from a milk-producing state, has become directly involved in lobbying the farm bill conferees to scrap the language in the bill that he has likened to a "soviet-style dairy program."

"Let's not make it worse by including supply management tools that really will make it worse," Boehner said on Thursday.

"I have fought off the supply management ideas for 23 years that I've been in Congress, and my position hasn't changed. Mr. Peterson and others are aware of that," he added, referring to House Agriculture ranking member Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., who is one of the top senior negotiators on the House-Senate farm bill conference committee.

The deal-making on the farm bill has slowed due in part to disagreement over a controversial provision to regulate the production and price of milk in the United States — the "supply management" provision.

While Boehner's involvement in negotiating the dairy provisions of the farm bill might be a new development, he has been closely watching the farm bill's progress throughout its rocky journey through the 113th Congress. His vote late last year in support of the farm bill was the first such vote he's taken on the issue sine 1996.