With the current extension of
the farm bill set to expire on September 30, the future of new farm legislation
remains uncertain as Congress begins a five-week recess. House Majority Leader
Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has announced that he will spend the recess drafting a
stand-alone nutrition title using the framework developed by a group of House
Republicans over the past month. The stand-alone measure would reduce nutrition
spending by $40 billion over the next 10 years – almost double the level of
cuts to the nutrition title proposed in the version of the farm bill (H.R.
1947) that collapsed on the House floor in June.
Senate Agriculture Committee
Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has indicated that leadership from both Senate
and House Agriculture Committees will use the August recess to begin informal
discussions to address similar provisions within each chamber’s bill (or bills)
in hopes of orchestrating a successful conference that would help to fend off
another farm bill extension. Just before Congress adjourned for the five-week
recess, the following Senators were named as farm bill conferees: Sens.
Stabenow and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the Chairwoman and Ranking Member,
respectively, of the Senate Agriculture Committee; Democratic Sens. Max Baucus
(D-Mont.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Harkin
(D-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.); and Republican
Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and
Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). House leadership has not yet identified farm bill
The National Association of
Counties, as part of the Campaign for Renewed Rural Development (CRRD), has
sent a letter to both Senate and House Agriculture Committee leadership
thanking them for their efforts thus far in moving a five-year reauthorization
bill forward and urging support for the Senate’s funding levels within the
Rural Development Title as Congress takes steps towards a farm bill conference.
Specifically, the letter urges support of mandatory funding levels found in the
Senate bill for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program,
Water/Wastewater Backlog and Value-Added Producer Grants. To view this letter,
Contact: Arthur Scott firstname.lastname@example.org 202.942.4230