Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to take significant next steps in the development of the 2012 Farm Bill later this month.
In the Senate, Agriculture Committee leaders are pushing for a procedural cloture vote this week to demonstrate that farm bill draft – approved in the Ag Committee on April 26th – has the support of at least 60 senators. Once that cloture vote occurs, the full Senate will debate and then vote on the Farm Bill proposal. A summary has been assembled that details the key dairy elements in the Senate bill. The Congressional Budget Office affirmed last month that the entire farm bill will save approximately $23 billion over the next decade.
Meanwhile, the House Agriculture Committee has wrapped up a series of farm bill hearings, and is slated to begin fleshing out its own version of a farm bill later in June. Assuming that the Senate approves its bill this month, and the House Ag panel approves its own version in the same time frame, the full House of Representatives will have a narrow window of opportunity to pass the bill before the summer congressional recess in August.
Farmers can use NMPF’s Dairy GREAT email system to contact their Senators, urging a yes vote on the Farm Bill.