Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow held a tele-news conference today with reporters regarding the Farm Bill.
Chairwoman Stabenow again called on the House Leadership to take up the Farm Bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee in July.
The Michigan Democrat, who is up for re-election this year, pointed to several deficiencies in a disaster related bill that the House passed back in early August, and noted that the five-year Farm Bill was the optimal way to more comprehensively deal with disaster related issues. She also referenced a letter from several farm and agricultural organizations that urged Senate leaders to “refrain from supporting” any legislation resembling the House-passed disaster bill.
Chairwoman Stabenow pointed out that if the House passed a bill, it could be conferenced with the Senate version over October, and that the conference bill could be voted on by both Chambers in November.
And, Chairwoman Stabenow noted that if House Leadership let the Ag Committee Farm Bill go through regular order, that “the votes are there” for it to pass. “I have been talking to people in the House, I am confident the votes are there if they are willing to do this on a bi-partisan vote,” she said.
If the House passed the bill, Chairwoman Stabenow expressed confidence “that the Leadership in the House and Senate Agriculture Committees can get the job done.”
A complete replay of the press briefing, including questions from reporters can be heard here:
A transcript of the press briefing is also available here (PDF).