Rep. Walz leads new push for farm bill conference

By Aarian Marshall

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WASHINGTON, August 1, 2013 - Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., spearheaded a new initiative today pushing House Speaker John Bohener, R-Ohio, to bring a farm bill to conference, before the legislation expires in September. Rep. Walz is joined by a coalition of 49 Democrats.

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“Our farmers and ranchers go about their business quietly every day and simply expect Congress to do the same. With only nine legislative work days scheduled in September, we're burning daylight we don't have,” Rep. Walz said in a statement.

Congress will begin its five-week August recess tomorrow. Both Houses will return Sept. 9.

In separate speeches today, both Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas, R-Okla., indicated that staff would continue informal farm bill discussion during the recess.

Stabenow indicated, however, that movement would be difficult given the House has yet to pass a nutrition title.

The Senate passed its farm bill June 21; the House passed a farm-only bill on July 10, after a comprehensive bill failed on the floor. Since then, House Republicans have worked to come to a compromise on the nutrition side of the bill, which supports the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and accounts for 80 percent of the entire legislation's spending.


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