- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Though negotiators say they are getting close on a farm bill deal, the two parties still have their differences on how to handle a short-term extension.

Rep. Collin C. Peterson, Minnesota Democrat, told reporters Tuesday that a short-term extension on the farm bill is not necessary and that Rep. Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma Republican, would wait until Thursday to introduce an extension. Just minutes later, however, Mr. Lucas said he planned to file a one-month extension on the House floor Tuesday night.

“All I can say is it’s sort of like a cook, you know when it’s done,” Mr. Lucas said. “It’s an art, not a science.”

Waiting until Thursday would not give lawmakers enough time to vote on the bill before leaving town on Friday, but Mr. Peterson said the bill that covers farm subsidies and food stamps could wait until early January without any adverse effects.

Lucas is being pushed by his leadership to do an extension, which is not necessary and the Senate won’t pass it. This is all politics,” Mr. Peterson said. “There is no need for an extension.”

Mr. Peterson said he would vote for a short-term extension if he thought it would help complete a bill, but that a one-month fix could actually harm the progress the negotiators have made.

“At this point, I’d like to vote against an extension, I think it’s a bad idea,” he said. “It’ll actually hurt us from getting this done.”