Farm Bill Conference Begins on Capitol Hill
November 7, 2013
The Farm Bill conference formally began last week on Capitol Hill, as the 41 House and Senate members of the joint conference committee outlined their priorities and pledged to finalize a compromise bill this fall. NMPF issued a statement urging the lawmakers to include the Senate’s Dairy Security Act in the measure, and reject the House dairy language because it lacks the market stabilization component supported by NMPF.
The principal leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees are now working informally to resolve the key points of contention between the two chambers’ respective versions. In addition to dairy policy, the lawmakers must reconcile differences including country of origin labeling for meat, the national implications of California’s egg production requirements, whether to require conservation compliance as part of crop insurance, and most prominently, the level of funding reduction for food stamps.
These issues will have to be addressed relatively quickly, given that holiday schedules will limit the amount of time for the House and Senate to pass a final bill prior to the end of the year.
NMPF is continuing its efforts to educate lawmakers about the importance of having a voluntary margin insurance program coupled with the market stabilization program, in order to make the overall dairy safety net as effective and affordable as possible. Dairy farmers can contact their members of Congress to urge that the Dairy Security Act be included in the Farm Bill by using NMPF’s Dairy GREAT system.