Boustany sees cautious optimism for Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr., (R-Southwest Louisiana), today made the following announcement of a Farm Bill agreement.

“The Farm Bill provides important and necessary safeguards for our food producers, and I have worked to make sure Louisiana farmers and ranchers are well represented,” Boustany said. “I am cautiously optimistic about this Farm Bill agreement. It maintains an effective commodities title for Louisiana’s rice and sugar farmers. However, until Congress votes on a final bill, I will be leery of a last minute tax hike or other poison pill from Speaker Pelosi. As it stands now, I am very pleased with this bill that puts our Louisiana farmers at its center.”

Boustany, the only Louisiana member of the Agriculture Committee of either the House or the Senate, worked to secure a strong support mechanism for the rice and sugar communities. Additionally, Boustany authored a provision to provide relief to sweet potato farmers suffering from crop damage and added three more of the Seventh District’s eight parishes to the Delta Regional Authority. The DRA was created in 2000 to enhance economic development in the region and allows parishes to compete for federal funding to create jobs, invest in infrastructure, and improve the quality of life for residents of Southwest Louisiana.

As a new Farm Bill has been written and debated, Boustany met with farmers across the Seventh District hosting a bi-partisan Farm Day in Crowley and Jeanerette with Under Secretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum. In addition, Boustany conducted several tele-town halls with Southwest Louisiana farmers and families involved in the agricultural sector to better understand their needs and concerns.

The House passed a bill in July, but it contained a massive tax increase added by Democratic House leadership two days before the final vote. Congressman Boustany voted against that bill because of the tax increase. He has fought to prevent tax increases and protect the commodity programs in the final bill.

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