WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2013 – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., re-introduced today the Senate-passed version of the five-year farm bill, calling it a “revolutionary piece of legislation.”
Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid said he plans to take up the bill, but he did not give a timetable.
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said Reid considers the farm bill as “one of several privileged, top priority bills.”
“I applaud Sen. Reid’s leadership and commitment to getting a five-year farm bill done to provide certainty to the 16 million Americans working in agriculture,” Stabenow said. “Last year we were able to pass a farm bill with overwhelming bipartisan support, saving more than $23 billion in taxpayer money and reforming farm bill programs to be more cost-effective and market-oriented. Unfortunately, the House didn’t bring the farm bill to the floor.”
Stabenow said the committee will mark up a bill “as soon as possible.”
The Senate approved the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act (S.2340) on June 21, 2012. The legislation Reid introduced will be used as a placeholder for whatever language comes out of the committee.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson offered his support for Reid’s action.
“This is a positive way to begin the year and congressional session,” Johnson said. “Farmers and ranchers are in need of certainty through a five-year farm bill and we will continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to garner their support for a bill as soon as possible.
Johnson urged House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to pass the legislation.
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