Congress finally puts farm bill back in a forward gear
House Majority Leader Cantor has yet to name the House members who will be part of the conference committee with the Senate. The Senate members were named in mid-July, when it was thought the conference committee might be able to do its work during the August Congressional recess.
Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow says the House cut of the nutrition programs has no chance of acceptance in the Senate, and called the House maneuvers “a monumental waste of time.”
With the expiration looming September 30 for the extended farm bill, many USDA programs that are funded from one fiscal year to the next will expire. At one point Republicans said they had no doubt that all work on a new farm bill would be readied in time to replace the legislation that is expiring. However with many other priorities, ahead of farm policy it is uncertain where the farm bill will fall on the schedule.
The schedule had been complicated by the fact the House planned to be in recess next week, allowing only September 30th for a single day to vote on multiple appropriations issues, among other things. However, early this week Cantor said he was cancelling the planned recess and the House would be in session the week of September 23rd.
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