We appear to be inching closer to a full vote on the farm bill as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday named conferees for a farm bill conference with the Senate.
The House passed, by voice vote, a motion to go to conference with the Senate on Friday. The list of House conferees includes 17 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
"I am pleased to be at this point in the farm bill process where we are about to begin negotiations with our friends in the Senate and put a final bill together,” says House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla). “This has been a long and challenging process, but that does not discount the product we have achieved with billions of dollars in savings and reforms, and policy that works for all of agriculture all across the country. There are challenging issues yet to overcome, but we have a solid team of negotiators in place. I am confident we can reach consensus and send a five-year farm bill to the president."
House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) also expressed relief the process is moving forward.
“Appointing conferees might be a sign that, after repeatedly delaying and undermining the Agriculture Committee’s work, Republican Leaders are finally getting serious about the farm bill. Conferees are committed to working together and getting a farm bill done but bringing divisive resolutions to a vote and appointing conferees outside the Agriculture Committee has made our jobs a lot harder.
“The Democratic conferees represent our caucus and bring a great deal of expertise to the process. I am hopeful that if Republican Leadership can be reasonable and leave the conference committee alone to do its work that we will be able to finish a five-year, comprehensive farm bill this year.”
Read the full list of Republican conferees.
Read a full list of Democratic conferees.