Nov 29, 2018
Senate, house negotiators firm up Farm Bill deal

Congressional negotiators working on the Farm Bill have “an agreement in principle” that could soon send the Farm Bill to the President.

The bill technically expired earlier this year, and its renewal has been hung up on policy differences over multiple issues including the federal food stamps program.

House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairmen Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Pat Roberts (R- Kan.) and Ranking Members Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)  on Thursday, Nov. 29 released a joint statement on the state of 2018 Farm Bill negotiations:

“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill. We are working to finalize legal and report language as well as (Congressional Budget Office) scores, but we still have more work to do. We are committed to delivering a new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.”

Stabenow seemed to hint at a deal in her opening statements at a Nov. 28 meeting of the Senate ag committee that was called to consider three USDA nominees.

“Now, we’re incredibly close to reaching an agreement on a final bill,” said Stabenow, who is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She cited a history of bipartisan work with committee chairman Roberts, including on an earlier version of the bill that passed the Senate 86-11.

Roberts didn’t allude to a deal in his remarks prepared for that meeting, but Reuters news agency reported he told reporters “we’re very close and encouraged.”

Top photo: Senators Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan. and Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, conduct a Farm Bill field hearing at Frankenmuth, Michigan. Roberts is chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Foresty, while Stabenow is the committee’s ranking member. Photo courtesy of Debbie Stabenow’s office.


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