The full Senate is slated to begin consideration today of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 passed last week by the agriculture committee.
“This is the biggest jobs bill we will pass in any Congress,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) meeting with farm broadcasters last week. “It’s time to get it done.”
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) also met with farm broadcasters last week. “Wouldn’t it be great if the United States Senate and the House of Representatives actually went to conference and passed a farm bill not moments before the expiration of the extension, but months before the expiration?” she asked.
Regarding amendments from the floor to the bill, Heitkamp expects to see a challenge to the sugar program, attempts to reduce crop insurance, and more on the nutrition program.
Listen to or download full comments here: Senator Heidi Heitkamp
Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) voted against the bill in committee because he believes it is a step backward in farm policy. “It’s a step not beyond 2013, it’s a step more toward 1980 in farm policy,” he told farm broadcasters. “I just don’t think it serves agriculture in the long term.”
While attempts to restore cuts to the nutrition program are expected on the floor of the Senate, Johanns thinks it will have to be increased from the $4 billion passed out of his committee. “I just think in order to get a bill with the House, it’s going to have to be north of that $4 billion,” he said. What that “magic number” is, however, Johanns is not sure.
Listen to or download full comments here: Senator Mike Johanns