Congressional briefing: It’s time for another farm bill
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
(KHI News Service) Farm bill hunger will bring full table: Because Kansas is one of the largest producers of corn, wheat and other commodity crops, its congressional delegation has played strong roles in shaping national farm and food policy. Kansas has six people in Congress. Three of them sit on agriculture committees that will write the 2007 farm bill. But this time around, fruit and vegetable producers, nutritionists and alternative agriculture groups seek a bigger say and a bigger piece of a shrinking federal budget pie. "We're going to be pressed for money," said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., who has served on both the Senate and House Agriculture committees during his career. As chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in 1996, he was the driving force behind passage of that year's farm bill.
Rep. Dennis Moore (D)
(KC Star) Legislator opposes closing of FDA lab: Those who want to save the Federal Drug Administration's regional lab in Lenexa have gained an ally in Congress. Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has asked the House Committee on Appropriations to reject funding for the FDA's proposal to close seven labs, including the one in Lenexa, in the next two years. That sentiment was echoed by Rep. Dennis Moore, a Kansas Democrat, who is opposed to the consolidation. "It's unfortunate that it had to come to this, but until the FDA can offer a better explanation for proceeding with this particular plan, Congress cannot allow them to move forward," Moore said.
(Kansas Farmer) Brownback, Roberts Announce $40 Million for Storm Victims: Last week, U.S. Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts announced major progress in procuring $40 million in disaster relief funding for recovery from the Greensburg tornado and other violent storms that hit Kansas in early May. The funding will be administered through the Department of Agriculture and will be available to Greensburg, Kiowa County and other Kansas counties designated by the president as federal disaster areas. "I am pleased that the Kansas delegation worked hard to get this disaster relief funding to the storm victims who need it," Brownback said in a statement. "I urge the House to act quickly so that President Bush can sign this bill and we can support the storm victims and relief efforts already underway." "This funding represents a significant federal commitment to help Greensburg get back on its feet after the devastating tornado on May 4," Roberts added. The efforts of Representatives Jerry Moran (KS-1), Todd Tiahrt (KS-4), Dennis Moore (KS-3) and Nancy Boyda (KS-2) played a major role in procuring the funding and paving the way for quick action.
Congressional briefing appears semi-regularly, Monday through Friday. If you've seen a news story or other blog entry about the Kansas Congressional delegation that we've missed, do let us know.