Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Thursday that the Senate will take up a five-year farm bill in May.
The upper chamber passed a full farm bill last year on a 64-35 vote, but one was not enacted before the 2008 farm bill expired in September. The House Agriculture Committee marked up a bill, but GOP leaders prevented it from coming to the floor.
The Senate Agriculture Committee has not announced an exact date for a markup of the bill. This time around, Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will be working with a new ranking member Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who is sure to seek a stronger safety net for southern growers of rice and peanuts.
The fight between the House and Senate over farm legislation largely centers on the question of how much to cut spending and from which programs.
The last Senate farm bill was thought to cut deficits by $23 billion over 10 years by replacing direct farm payments and countercyclical payments with expanded crop insurance.
But a new score from the Congressional Budget Office this year found that the bill only shaved $13 billion from deficits, meaning Stabenow will need to search for deep cuts to meet demands from fiscal hawks and House Republicans.
Last year's House farm bill cut $35 billion, with large chunks of it coming from food stamps.
Idiots in Washington were wrong again! What they put their hand too they screw up. Think they will get something done in five years. Wrong, just sit, talk, eat and throw your money at what ever comes up. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves. No offense to Gypsies.