WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, says he is ready to engage in negotiations to finalize a new, five-year farm bill.
Cochran says he welcomed a vote in the House of Representatives last Friday authorizing a conference committee with the Senate to reconcile differences in Senate- and House-passed versions of a 2013 farm bill — legislation that sets agriculture, conservation and nutrition assistance policies for the country. The vote, 223-189, will establish a yet-to-be-named House delegation of 12 Republicans and nine Democrats.
“The table will be for us to work on a long-term farm bill that is equitable to all producers in all regions of the country. The task before us is urgent. I am ready and optimistic about working with our House counterparts to resolve significant differences and put in place policies that work well for the agriculture industry, American consumers and the economy.”
Cochran will join Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in leading the Senate conference delegation that includes seven Democrat and five Republican Senators.
A short-term extension of 2008 farm bill policies expired Sept. 30, creating the need for conferees to work toward finalizing a new farm bill before the end of the year.