Rep. Noem: Farm Bill could be part of fiscal cliff negotiations - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Rep. Noem: Farm Bill could be part of fiscal cliff negotiations

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While much focus on Capitol Hill is targeted towards the fiscal cliff, Representative Kristi Noem said she remains focused on passing a five-year farm bill.

Noem addressed the farm bill—which expired September 30th—during a satellite conference with local media Thursday morning. She said there needs to be a five-year bill, but there is the chance the current bill could be extended. However, Noem said if there is an extension, there needs to be a livestock disaster relief program.

Noem said she would love to see the farm bill wrapped up on its own, but the bill could become part of a fiscal cliff agreement.

"So the savings we were able to gather and garner within our house farm bill might be used as pay fors within another larger bill," Noem said. "We'll have to see how those negotiations go forward."

The U.S. House passed a bill addressing the fiscal cliff months ago, calling for across the board cuts. Noem said each committee within their jurisdiction looked and found savings in federal spending, but the bill stopped at the Senate with no action.

President Obama said he wants a plan raising taxes on the upper class, a notion Noem acknowledges will be part of discussion. The representative said she just wants to make sure America has a fairer tax system by closing loopholes, not raising rates and ensuring a more competitive rate across the world to generate revenue.

"That's really what's going to change our revenue picture, making sure we have growth in our economy," Noem said. "We think it's important that we don't do anything to stifle our economic growth right now."

Noem said in the last session Congress' policies aligned closely with the president's vision, but she said raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans is not a solution to fixing the problem.

"We've got to tackle the whole issue and not just talk about putting forward policies that aren't going to do much to grow are economy and really solve the problem," Noem said.

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