The primary focal point in Washington, D.C., has been on Vice-President Joe Biden’s group negotiations over the debt ceiling.
The group, comprised of Biden, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), is tasked with finding budget cuts that may make politically possible the passage of an increase in the debt ceiling to avoid a U.S. default.
The “Gang of Six”, the competing (and the more fiscally serious) group led by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N/D/) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), suffered a setback when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) bowed out from negotiations.
The bottom line is there are reports the Biden group is really sharpening the knives for U.S. farm policy, with indications they may go even farther than the House-passed budget resolution.
Having given up on dealing with the big ticket items that must be dealt with to bring our nations’ fiscal house in order, the Biden group may settle for political window dressing, however punitive it may be to rural America.
Whether the Biden group’s recommendations are ultimately accepted by the House and Senate, it will be, in part, up to farm groups and producers from around the country and their senators and representatives in Congress.