Washington Week Ahead: Senate resumes farm bill focus

By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 10 - The U.S. Senate returns Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. to resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3240, the “Agriculture Reform, food and Jobs Act of 2012.”

 

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking member Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., will be meeting on Monday to review the over 90 amendments that have been filed thus far.
  

The duo will try to “determine if in fact we can restore the Senate back to the Senate and actually open up to amendments from members and not get back to the business of legislatively filling the tree,” explained Roberts during a Sunday discussion, taped on C-Span, which focused on the farm bill.

Asked to describe his biggest fear about the process, Roberts said it was that “we will get  bogged down, and that perhaps, the Senate will revert back to the majority leader - with all due respect - limiting the number of amendments and our side saying, ‘Wait a minute, we are not getting an opportunity to offer the amendments we want' and then we go back to spinning our wheels. We just can't let that happen.

“The Chairwoman is working extremely hard and I am on our side, as well, to see if we can't get amendments limited to a reasonable amount,” Roberts explained.

Stabenow acknowledged that there are “a lot of folks now, working in good faith with each other,” and expressed optimism that she and Roberts could get a workable agreement on amendments.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to advancing the farm bill this week in the Senate will be competition from Senators wishing to address other “front burner” issues like the brewing controversy over national security leaks from the Obama Administration. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., plans to bring up a resolution on Monday, calling for a special counsel investigation of the alleged White House security leaks.

For more on scheduled floor action and other events this week:

Washington Week Ahead:

Monday, June 11:

The House of Representatives will have a district work period until June 18, 2012.  

2:00 p.m., The Senate will convene and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.3240, the Farm bill, post-cloture.

Secretary Vilsack will travel to Iowa to highlight the successes of the agricultural economy and discuss the Food, Farm and Jobs bill.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan will give remarks at the government-wide Feds Feed Families kick-off ceremony in Washington, DC.

USDA Reports: Crop Progress, U.S. Agricultural Trade Data

Tuesday, June 12:

Secretary Vilsack will travel to Iowa to highlight the successes of the agricultural economy and discuss the Food, Farm and Jobs bill.

USDA Reports: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Season-Average Price Forecasts, Crop Production

Wednesday, June 13:

10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Hearing: A Breakdown in Risk Management: What went wrong at JPMorgan Chase? G50 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Thursday, June 14:

9:30 a.m., Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Hearing: China and Clean Energy, 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Secretary Vilsack will highlight Obama administration efforts to improve health and nutrition of American people at the Washington Post's Live Summit, "Future of Food: Food Security in the 21st Century" in Washington, DC.

USDA Reports: U.S. Export Sales

Friday, June 15: 

Deputy Secretary Merrigan will host an event to highlight the one year anniversary of MyPlate in Florida.

#30

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