Heitkamp hosting Stabenow at ag forums on Saturday

Heidi Heitkamp

FARGO – North Dakota Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp will host the Senate’s Agriculture Committee chairwoman at public campaign forums Saturday in Mandan and Fargo.

In her leadership role, Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow helped usher the 2012 farm bill through the Senate last month.

While the House Agriculture Committee passed its own version of the bill soon after, Republican leadership in that chamber aren’t likely to put the bill up for a floor vote at least until after the November election.

In a meeting Monday with The Forum’s editorial board, Heitkamp said she invited Stabenow to emphasize why the farm bill is so vital to rural areas, like North Dakota.

“I think it’s good to hear from her why it’s important for the farm country to push the farm bill now,” Heitkamp said.

Here are details for each event:

  • MANDAN – 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 28
    Bohemian Hall, eight miles south of Mandan on Highway 6.
    For more information or to RSVP, call (701) 751-2629.
  • FARGO – 3:15 p.m., Saturday, July 28
    Jake Gust farm, 4614 81st St. N. in Fargo
    For more information or to RSVP, call (701) 566-8728.

Heitkamp supports the Senate’s version of the 2012 farm bill and she’s been critical of her opponent on the issue.

Republican Rep. Rick Berg is urging his party’s leadership to put the legislation up for a vote, so it can pass that chamber and so any differences can be hashed out in conference committee.

Berg wants a 2012 farm bill passed, but he’s stopped short of saying whether he favors the Senate or the House version of the bill. The Senate’s version saves about $2.3 billion a year, while the House bill saves $3.5 billion annually – mostly by cutting more from nutrition programs.

Heitkamp spoke of Stabenow almost as a mentor, praising Stabenow and drawing comparisons between herself and the Democratic veteran.

“We’ve gotten to be pretty good friends,” Heitkamp said. “She’s a lot like me … We share a lot of things in common. I think she’s very dynamic.”

“When you look at her committee assignments – she’s on Agriculture, she’s on Energy and she’s on Finance,’ Heitkamp added. “The only one that she’s not on that I want to be on is Indian Affairs and that makes sense; that’s obviously more unique to the Great Plains area.”

Berg spokesman Chris Van Guilder said Heitkamp and Stabenow are allies to Democrats’ national agenda.

“Senator Debbie Stabenow said she supported Barack Obama ‘1,000 percent’ and Heidi Heitkamp said ‘I think Barack Obama is going to be amazing,’” Van Guilder said. “It sounds like these two are one in the same when it comes to supporting President Obama and the Democratic Party.”

One thought on “Heitkamp hosting Stabenow at ag forums on Saturday

  1. Pingback: North Dakota politicians lay blame, as farm bill stalls amid partisan stalemate | Flickertales from The Hill

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