Heitkamp Challenges Berg to Farm Bill and Ag Debate
Rick Berg Still Trying to Run Out the Clock on Debates, Five Weeks After Campaign Promises to Finalize Schedule, Berg Still Can’t Pick a Number
MANDAN, N.D. – Amid reports that the House Farm Bill may not even come up for a floor vote, former North Dakota attorney general and U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp is challenging Rep. Rick Berg to a debate on the Farm Bill and ag issues.
“North Dakotans deserve a serious discussion and debate about the choice between Heidi’s vision to put the partisan gridlock aside and do what’s best for North Dakota, and Rep. Berg’s decision to vote the party line, even when it means slashing billions from crop insurance,” said Tessa Gould, campaign manager for Heidi Heitkamp. “Rick Berg might try to run out the clock and let his negative attack ads do the talking, but North Dakotans deserve better.”
According to the Fargo Forum:
“(Berg) wouldn’t specify how many total debates he’d like to have against Heitkamp before Nov. 6. ‘I’ll leave that up to the campaigns to figure out,’ Berg said, referring to scheduling. ’Whatever fits in and works.’” [Fargo Forum, 7/16/12]
The Forum also noted that it’s been five weeks since Berg’s campaign told the Forum it would finalize a debate schedule:
“In regards to Heitkamp’s challenge this year, Berg’s spokesman Chris Van Guilder said in June that Berg plans to ‘to finalize the debate schedule in the days and weeks ahead.’” [Fargo Forum, 7/16/12]
While Berg stalls, Politico reports recently that major questions remain about whether the House Farm Bill will work for North Dakota. Politico reported that in the House Farm Bill proposal “the biggest winners are Southern crops like rice and peanuts.” [Politico, Senate, House farm bills follow different paths, 7/8/12]
Meanwhile, The Hill reported that House Speaker John Boehner may block the bill from even coming up for a vote:
“Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) history with farm bills and with his GOP freshman class indicate that this year’s measure is headed nowhere fast…’Boehner hates the farm bill,’ one lobbyist said. ‘Every time he has had the choice to bring up a bipartisan bill and face a large defection, he has decided not to. I don’t see him risking embarrassment for a farm bill.’ … On top of his personal distaste for farm subsidies, the Speaker is unlikely to act on an expensive bill that could fracture his conference so close to the election.”
Today, as a director of the Dakota Gasification synfuels plant, she’s a champion for North Dakota’s energy industry. Heidi believes we need to use all of North Dakota’s rich energy resources wisely, creating and keeping high-paying jobs right here. Heidi says it’s time to put country first, put politics aside and work together to cut government spending, balance the budget, create jobs and get our economy back on track—while protecting North Dakotans.
Heidi lives in Mandan with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two grown children, Ali and Nathan.
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