Washington can be a pretty hot place in the summer, and it looks as though this summer Senators will be spending their days working on the Farm Bill. With the current Bill set to expires in September, Senate Ag Committee ranking member Senator Pat Roberts says time is running out for action, “You can’t just put agriculture in purgatory and hope for the best by extending the Farm Bill into 2013. We have got to move this Bill.” Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Senator Debbie Stabenow told reporters that Senate leadership is committed to bringing the bill to the floor soon, “Senator Reed is committed to bringing the Bill out. We are just working on scheduling.” Both Staenow and Roberts said there is good bipartisan support for the bill, in fact a group of 44 Senators signed a letter in support of the legislation this week.
But getting a bill on the floor and getting is passed the Senate are two very different things. Stabenow admits there are likely to be plenty of amendments, “We are committed to an open amendment process and working with our collogues.” She said the Ag Committee has been briefing other Senators at the staff level. The Farm Bill mark-up passed the committee in record time, and Stabenow and Roberts are hoping the same spirit will prevail on the Senate floor. But amendments regarding crop insurance and coverage of Cotton, rice, peanuts, popcorn, and several other crops left out of the Senate bill are likely. Meanwhile, the House is moving at a much slower pace, and it remains to be seen if they can make the September deadline.
[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/05/Senate-Farm-Bill-wrap.mp3|titles=Senate Farm Bill Set for Summer Debate]