The Senate agreed Thursday morning to end debate on the farm bill and proceed to a final vote – invoking cloture on a vote of 75 to 22. In remarks ahead of the vote – Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow noted that the bill includes 38 amendments approved by the Senate last year and 14 added in debate this year. Later – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the vote on final passage of the farm bill will be held Monday at 5:30 Eastern time. While the Senate is in session Friday they will not take up the farm bill. It wasn’t clear Thursday if there would be a manager’s package of noncontroversial amendments added to the bill. A vote is slated on an amendment to establish a pilot program for gigabit Internet projects in rural areas before the vote on farm bill passage. It appears the Senate will then move on to the immigration reform bill.
Reaction to Successful Cloture Motion
The farm bill the Senate is poised to vote on Monday isn’t the bill Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns would have written – but he says farmers and ranchers need the long-term certainty only a farm bill can provide. He says the Senate measure is better than no farm bill and significantly better than the bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee.
The National Corn Growers Association was pleased to see the cloture vote on the farm bill received above and beyond the 60 votes needed to move the legislation forward. But NCGA President Pam Johnson says there is still important work that needs to be done. She says NCGA urges the Senate to vote to pass the legislation.
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance says the Senate farm bill addresses many priorities critical to the specialty crop industry and includes programs supporting essential research, market promotion and nutrition – as well as continuing the support of specialty crops established in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Source: NAFB News Service