Farm Bill at Top of Presidentís Idea List in New Orleans
Speaking on the economy in New Orleans Friday - President Barack Obama again addressed three things he believes Republicans and Democrats can join together to do to make progress in the area of business growth and job creation right now. The farm bill was first on his list. President Obama said Congress needs to pass a farm bill that helps rural communities grow and protects vulnerable Americans. Stressing that the farm bill doesn't just benefit farmers - the President called on Congress to do the right thing and pass a farm bill. The two weeks ahead of Thanksgiving could determine if Congress will get that done yet this year. The House and Senate will both be in session before taking a Thanksgiving break that is scheduled to begin November 22nd. Congressional aides have suggested that recess will last two weeks. That schedule would have members returning December 9th for another two week session before an expected December 20th departure for the Christmas and New Year's holidays. The farm bills approved by the House and Senate will not expire at the end of the year since the congressional session continues - but the pressure is on to finish a farm bill by then.
Fixing our broken immigration system was the second item on the President's list - which he said would be good for our national security and economic security. According to President Obama - immigration reform would grow our economy by 1.4-trillion dollars over the next two decades and shrink our deficits by nearly a trillion dollars. He said there's no reason both parties can't come together and get immigration legislation passed this year. Finally - the President talked about a responsible budget that sets America on a stronger course for the future. Congress has until January 15th to figure out how to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. That's when the continuing resolution that currently funds the government will expire. A budget conference committee is trying to figure out an overall budget plan that would provide a framework for the new continuing resolution. That committee is supposed to finish its report by December 13th.
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