The House of Representatives' members to the House-Senate conference committee were named late last week. The committee will work to resolve the differences between the Senate-passed Farm Bill and that put forward by the House.
"Depending on the House and Senate schedules, the first, formal conference meeting could be scheduled as early as next week," said an aide to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (Okla.). Under congressional protocol, Lucas will chair the conference committee.
President Obama put the long-delayed Farm Bill, more than a year overdue, among three priorities for resolution by year's end now that the government has reopened. Also on the list were immigration reform and a budget agreement.
The first meeting of House and Senate conferees is a milestone that marks the final round of work on major legislation. Commonly, a final version emerges within a few weeks. Lucas says he is confident of consensus on a five-year bill.
House Democrats who will serve on the Farm Bill conference include Reps. Collin Peterson (Minn.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Tim Walz (Minn.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Suzan DelBene (Wash.), Gloria Negrete McLeod (Calif.), Filemon Vela (Texas), Eliot Engel (N.Y.) and Sandy Levin (Mich.).
The Republican members of the conference committee include Lucas, Steve King (Iowa), Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Mike Rogers (Ala.), K. Michael Conaway (Texas), Glenn Thompson (Penn.), Austin Scott (Ga.), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Martha Roby (Ala.) Kristi Noemm (S.D.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Steve Southerland (Fla.), Ed Royce (Calif.), Tom Marino (Penn.), Dave Camp (Mich.) and Sam Johnson (Texas).
The previously named Democratic Senate conferees include Sens. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Max Baucus (Mont.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Michael Bennet (Colo.)
The Senate Republicans are Sens. Thad Cochran (Miss.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), John Boozman (Ark.) and John Hoeven (N.D.).