Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran plan to vote "no" on military action in Syria and "yes" to a new Farm Bill, even if it is not the perfect bill, they told visitors to the annual opening Saturday Kansas Farm Bureau breakfast and attendees of the WIBW farm issues radio broadcast that followed.
"Farmers, rural businesses and their bankers need certainty and the Farm Bill needs to provide that certainty," was Roberts' message.
Moran said that ranchers in western Kansas who are still mired in one of the worst droughts in state history are without any time of disaster program because last year's failure to pass a new Farm Bill resulted in a continuing resolution that did not include the programs.
Roberts said he has faith that a House and Senate conferees can come to an agreement on the differences between the bills from the two houses that will result in legislation getting passed this year.
"I personally liked the Senate bill better last year," he said. "This year, I strongly disagree with the provision that pays rice and peanut farmers a target price that exceeds the cost or production at taxpayer expense. I think that needs to get fixed. However, I will say that my red line is crop insurance. I want to see a robust crop insurance title and brings more farmers into a program that the y can afford to be part of."
Roberts said he also disagrees with those who would like to see the supplemental nutrition program removed from the farm bill.
"It is what draws in urban congressmen and gives us negotiating power," he said.
Moran said that he thinks keeping the nutrition title in the Farm Bill is the only way for the conservative voice of rural America to be heard in a meaningful way when it comes to reform of the nutrition program.
"I think if it is a separate bill, our voice is weaker," he said.
On Syria, both Roberts and Moran said they are against the U.S. military intervention sought by President Obama. Roberts said he feared it will make the situation worse without achieving the goal of deterring other rogue nations from using chemical weapons. Moran said he thinks that the U.S. should not intervene because he sees no clear benefit for the United States from the action.
For more on what the senators had to say about politics and policy, watch your mailbox for the October Kansas Farmer magazine.
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