Farmfest kicks off
Peterson, the chair of the House Ag Committee, does not expect the pace to slow, as lawmakers continue to grapple with economy and health care regulation bills.
Weve been very busy, and I expect to be in the fall, Peterson said.
Walz, who was a teacher in Mankato before being elected in Minnesotas First District, agreed with Peterson on the rapid pace of legislation. Thank God I supervised the lunchroom for 20 years. Im prepared for total chaos, he said.
Peterson and Walz, also an agriculture committee member, havent been directly involved in the health care regulation debate, but are meeting with stakeholders during the August recess.
Ill see if theres anything I can support, Peterson said, adding that none of the four bills that have been introduced and the one pending introduction have his support yet.
Change, transparency and market reform in health care are needed, Walz said, stressing that medical care decisions under new health care regulations must remain between a patient and their doctor. This (legislation) is to bring market reform, he said. No market can function without referees.
Farmfest kicks off
On cap and trade
The real cost to agricultural production by the new cap-and-trade legislation, and its efforts to address climate change, is troubling, Peterson said.
Cap and trade refers to a policy of capping emissions but providing some flexibility in complying with the cap, including the option to trade buy and sell allowances under the cap.
Agricultural economists have evaluated and estimated the costs to be somewhere between no cost and a 4.5 percent increase under the House-passed legislation, Peterson said.
When asked if the Senate legislation, yet to be considered, would be similar to the House bill, Peterson laughed and said, I have no idea. The Senate does as the Senate does.
Farmers are likely exposed to much more cost change due to speculation by investors in the oil market than from the cap-and-trade legislation, Walz said. He noted that diesel fuel was up 41 cents a gallon since it passed the House. You are under a lot more pressure from speculators than under this bill, he said.
Its a messy process
Walz asked constituents to engage themselves in the legislative process, adding that key issues like health care regulation cannot be a win-lose situation.
These bills are not done, this is a messy, democratic process, he said. Its not an I win and you lose situation, we have to all win.
Thank God I supervised the lunchroom for 20 years. Im prepared for total chaos,
I wonder if the good congressman realizes running a legislative process is different from running lunchroom.