House sends farm bill to Senate in next move to conference

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 16, 2013 - The House sent its five-year farm bill (H.R. 2642) Tuesday to the Senate, pushing the legislation onto the next step toward conference, according to a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee spokesman.

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The move comes after the House approved, on a partisan 216-208 vote, its bill July 11. The bill would strip the nutrition program from the rest of the farm policy legislation, as well as repeal the 1949 and 1938 permanent agriculture laws.

The Senate approved its bill (S. 954) June 10 with a strong bipartisan 66-27 vote after a two-week debate. The Senate-passed farm bill does include Title IV provisions such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It does not include a repeal of permanent laws.

Conferees also will have to deal with differences in dairy policy between the two bills.

House leadership can move rather quickly, without any votes, to appoint its conferees. By contrast, the situation is quite murky in the Senate where it could take several procedural votes to appoint its conferees.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has said she hopes to get the legislation into conference by the August recess.

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