Farm bill conference begins
WASHINGTON -- U.S. House and Senate negotiators Wednesday begin to discuss differences about versions of the farm bill they passed, with a goal of passing new federal farm policy by year’s end.
The first public meeting of the conference committee begins at 1:30 p.m. Central time and can be watched on the Web at http://tinyurl.com/agconference.
The Upper Midwest will represented by Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; Steve King, R-Iowa; Tim Walz, D-Minn.; and Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; and Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
The biggest issue negotiators face will be food stamp funding. Senators approved a $400 million cut out of $80 billion while the House voted to chop $4 billion.
The lawmakers also must deal with details about how to shave some of the $5 billion annual farmer subsidies and need to figure out whether to continue providing a stabilization program to help dairy farmers.