MEMPHIS -- The National Cotton Council (NCC) welcomed House action today on new farm legislation (H.R. 2642) because it is an important step towards enactment of new multi-year legislation.
NCC Chairman Jimmy Dodson emphasized that the House measure includes reform by transitioning away from traditional price and income support programs while simultaneouslystrengthening and enhancing crop insurance.
Dodson said, "while this is not the process we would have preferred, it is an important step which we hope will lead to successful and timely development of critically important new farm legislation. We urge Members to return to the practice of working in a bipartisan basis to develop effective policy. We are especially grateful to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) for his leadership in getting this legislation across the House floor with a minimum of damaging amendments. We also appreciate the efforts of Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) for his support during the Committee's development of the 2013 legislation. While we understand his concern about today's process, we look forward to continuing to work with all Committee leaders as the process moves forward."
The U.S. cotton industry also expressed sincere appreciation to Chairman Lucas and other Cotton Belt members of the Committee for their support that ensured the House legislation included the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) and transition payments to assist cotton producers and their lenders while USDA's Risk Management Agency completes the challenging task of fully implementing the new STAX insurance program.
"This provides our growers with certainty and serves as the basis for a final resolution of the longstanding Brazil World Trade Organization case," Dodson stated.
Also significant, Dodson noted, is that the House legislation addresses the entire cotton industry's interests by including provisions that: 1) assist U.S. textile manufacturers, 2) extend the marketing assistanceloan and adjusted world price redemption process, 3) continue conservation programs, 4) extend the highly successful Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program, which provide seed money for export promotion programs, and 5) extend the extra-long staple cotton program.