Senate farm bill conference committee formed
House has yet to name conference members to hash out farm bill differences
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has named the conference committee members to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the farm bill, but the House has yet to form its committee. Reid, in turn, urged his fellow elected officials to get to work to get a new bill established.
The current farm bill, an extension of the 2008 farm bill, expired October 1.
Senate conference committee members are Agriculture Committee Chairperson Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Pat Robert, R-Kan.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Max Baucus D-Mont.; Serrod Brown, D-Ohio; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; and John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Meanwhile, agricultural groups are urging House Speaker John Boehner to follow suit and name House conference committee members.
"This is an opportunity for you and the House to demonstrate that Congress is still able to get things done," said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. "With the budget and debt ceiling discussions looming, the farm bill may be the very best opportunity for any major, forward-looking legislation to pass this year. Our country's family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, consumers and hungry citizens are depending on you."