A bipartisan farm bill that would protect crop insurance and commodity programs as well as nutrition assistance from cuts passed the Senate by an overwhelming margin, 86-11, clearing the way for negotiations to begin next month with the House.
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee this week will seek to get a strong bipartisan vote for their farm bill draft from the panel, giving the measure momentum as it heads to the Senate floor in the following days.
The Republican chairman and the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee hope to release a draft of their farm bill this week, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promises to move it quickly to the floor.
Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts forcefully rejected proposed farm bill reforms that would make the Agriculture Risk Coverage program more attractive and increase payments to farmers in the upper Midwest at the expense of producers in other regions.
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee are working to finalize key details of their draft farm bill, including changes to the Agriculture Risk Coverage program, with hopes of bringing the legislation out of committee sometime in June.
With a farm bill floor debate looming next week, House members have filed more than half a dozen amendments attacking various aspects of the crop insurance program and others seeking to tighten rules for commodity subsidies and to roll back the sugar program.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway kicked off a battle over the next farm bill by releasing draft legislation that offers producers improvements to major commodity programs at minimal cost, while overhauling conservation policy and making sweeping reforms to nutrition assistance.
WASHINGTON, March 26, 2017 - With the Republican agenda in disarray, the House Agricul-ture Committee moves ahead this week with preparations for a new farm bill by diving into commodity concerns and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.