Speaker John A. Boehner said Monday that he and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., will urge an open farm bill debate when the bill comes to the floor later this month — and will support efforts to amend the bill on the floor.
"The Leader and I will encourage the Rules Committee to provide a fair process that will allow for a vigorous and open debate — the kind of process I pledged we would have more of in the House when I became speaker," the Ohio Republican said in a statement.
And while Boehner commended Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas, R-Okla., for ending direct payments and saving money on the food stamps program, he still opposes dairy provisions included in the bill.
"I oppose those provisions and will support efforts on the House floor to change them appropriately," he said. "And I encourage other members of the House to approach this process in the same spirit. If you have ideas on how to make the bill better, bring them forward. Let’s have the debate, and let’s vote on them.”
Boehner noted that he has long had problems with the farm programs.
"But as I said on the day I became speaker, my job isn’t to impose my personal will on this institution or its members. Rather, it’s to ensure we have a fair process and an open debate, leading to a product that reflects the will of our majority, the will of our members, and the will of those we represent. That’s the commitment I intend to keep as this process proceeds."