Farm Bill Conference Delayed Created by rrummel on 9/24/2013 10:44:30 AM
Could Reconnect Farm Only and Nutrition
While House lawmakers will return to Capitol Hill Wednesday - House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas says House leaders likely won’t name farm bill conferees until early October. That’s because of the steps that need to take place before conferees can be appointed. The House will first need to pass a procedural motion to combine the farm-only farm bill passed earlier with the just-passed nutrition bill. Once that is done - Lucas says the legislation will go to the Senate. The Senate does have the option of accepting the measure - but it’s expected they will reject it and request a conference. Lucas says the House will agree. The Senate will have to re-appoint conferees and then the House will appoint its conferees. That’s why Lucas expects it will be next week before conferees are appointed. Still - Lucas is confident the conference will begin shortly. He says the hurdles have been cleared - there’s just procedural stuff to work through.
Once the two sides go to conference - there are big differences to address. The nutrition bill passed by the House would cut almost 40-billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over 10 years. The Senate farm bill would cut just four-billion. Lucas says the two chambers took a different policy approach to the commodity title as well. He says the Senate has a major focus on what many call shallow loss crop revenue. Lucas says the House plan includes a shallow loss option and a price protection option.