The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1342. By automatically extending most
expiring conservation reserve contracts without competition for one year, H.R.
1342 would limit the enrollment of environmentally sensitive cropland while
continuing the enrollment of potentially productive cropland.
The Administration is committed to completing a review of Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) reenrollment bids to ensure that (1) producers receive a timely
response to their requests, and (2) lands granted reenrollment contracts are
environmentally sensitive lands appropriate for the CRP. The Secretary of
Agriculture has directed the Farm Service Agency to notify producers by late
May whether their requests have been approved. The completion of this review
process will ensure that viable crop land is placed back into production,
thereby making room in the CRP for land where retirement is more
environmentally beneficial. H.R. 1342 would seriously undermine this effort.
H.R. 1342 would affect direct spending; therefore, it is subject to the
pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
(OBRA) of 1990. OMB is still developing its PAYGO estimate for this bill.