Senate Agriculture Committee leaders are preparing to mark up the Farm Bill on April 25. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and ranking member Pat Roberts (Kan.) released the joint mark for the committee today.
"We pretty much know where the issues are," Stabenow said in a meeting with agriculture reporters on Tuesday. "We have actually a tremendous amount of consensus around a majority of the bill."
Stabenow plans to go title-by-title through the legislation to pass it next week and doesn't expect a lot of disputes. "I don't anticipate amendments on every title," Stabenow said. "Most of the issues have been worked out."
Roberts said members of the committee would like to get a bill written next week. Not everything is ironed out yet, he said.
"We know that the Senate has to move. We know that 2013 is not going to present a better situation from a fiscal standpoint, from a (Congressional Budget Office) score," commented Roberts.
Roberts said a strong, bipartisan vote out of committee will convince the Senate leadership to move a bill to the floor in May.
The proposed commodity programs have changed since last fall's proposal, but the Senate Agriculture Committee plans to continue pushing for $23 billion in cuts.
American Sheep Industry Association Executive Director Peter Orwick relayed, "The mark includes reauthorization of the wool marketing loan, the National Sheep Center and the livestock indemnity and forage programs, each a priority of the sheep industry."
Additional information on the Farm Bill is available at www.ag.senate.gov/issues/farm-bill.