Senate plans to move quickly on a new farm bill

By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2013 - Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D- Mich., told participants attending a Rural Summit today that she plans to markup a new farm bill in committee next month and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., signaled that the full Senate will take up a new five-year farm bill in May.

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Stabenow made her comments during the second annual Democratic Rural Summit, which was co-chaired by Senators Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

Stabenow did not divulge any specific date for the markup to start, telling Agri-Pulse that she was unwilling to do so because the timeline might still change. But with the Senate out next week, the earliest markup could start the following week would likely be May 7 or 8.

That would potentially put Stabenow on track to have her committee's farm bill work completed before House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R- Okla., starts marking up his bill on May 15.

While Stabenow was speaking at the Rural Summit, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) announced on the Senate floor that the full Senate will take up a five-year farm bill in May, along with the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

“The Senate must complete work on job-creating water resources legislation and a farm bill during the May work period so we can move forward on the immigration debate in June,” Reid said.


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