Yesterday, Congressional negotiators announced a final farm bill conference agreement at a press briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill.
The agreement will lead to a formal conference report, which will then be passed by the Senate and House before being sent to the White House.
Some comments made at the conference by Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) were included in a press release posted yesterday at the Senate Ag Committee Online; additionally, a FarmPolicy.com audio podcast summary of yesterday’s event is available here (MP3- 12:19).
The FarmPolicy.com audio podcast (MP3- 12:19) includes some of the opening remarks made by Sen. Harkin and House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), as well as extended excerpts from the discussion portion of the press briefing. Comments from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) were also included in this portion of the audio summary.
Note that a leaked copy of a summary of the Conference Committee Agreement has been posted at the Mulch Blog (Environmental Working Group); the Mulch update stated that, “I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this document, which was leaked to us. But it’s the only paper we’ve seen on the agreement.”
Dan Morgan reported in today’s Washington Post that, “House and Senate negotiators yesterday reached final agreement on a new farm bill that will spend close to $300 billion on nutrition, conservation, energy and farm subsidy programs over the next five years, but administration officials immediately announced that President Bush will veto it.
“‘This bill increases subsidies to farmers at a time of record farm income,’ Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said. The negotiators ‘have done a disservice to taxpayers.’