Ag media is buzzing with hints about timing for farm bill consideration on the Senate floor and in the House Agriculture Committee, though Congressional agricultural leaders have announced no official dates.
The Red River Farm Network aired a report from House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) early in the week in which he said the full Senate would take up its version of farm bill legislation on June 5 and the House Agriculture Committee would hold its mark-up on June 18. That report also noted that Peterson believes there is a 75 percent chance of completing a bill before August recess.
The Hagstrom Report reported on Monday that Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is planning for Senate floor consideration the first week of June, though she declined to offer or confirm a specific date.
Previously, Stabenow had expressed a desire for farm bill floor time before Memorial Day. While that would have been an aggressive timeline, expeditious consideration of the bill will help facilitate getting final legislation through Congress before Members leave late in the summer to focus on campaigning ahead of fall elections.
While the number of legislative days available dwindles, many remain hopeful the farm bill will progress as legislators look for an election-year win that cuts a significant amount of money from the overall federal budget.
NAWG and farm groups have repeatedly urged quick consideration of farm bill language and passage of a reauthorization before the 2008 Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30.