News out of Washington this morning is that the House will send its farm-only version of the farm bill over to the Senate today to begin the conference process.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) held a conference call with reporters on Monday urging the House to take that action before time runs out. “We’ve got only six legislative weeks before the current farm bill expires,” she said, noting that adds up to only 24 legislative days. “I’m willing to take whatever the House gives us and work with with the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee” to put things back together to get bipartisan support for a bill.
The House passed a farm bill without a nutrition title last Thursday and Stabenow says that approach will not work. “We could not pass that through the Senate, nor would the President of the United States sign that kind of bill,” she said. “That would be a very short term approach.”
Stabenow says because the Senate bill included a nutrition title it can be put back in the final bill in conference and there are people on both sides who understand the need to have both. “We’re not going to negotiate with the extreme elements of the House (who think) we shouldn’t have a safety net for families or for farmers,” she said.
Sen. Stabenow answers questions about the nutrition title and the impact of the bill passed by the House in regard to permanent law.
Listen to or download press conference here: Senator Debbie Stabenow 7-15-13