Food Safety Magazine

News | February 3, 2014

Senate to Vote on Farm Bill Early This Week

Senate to Vote on Farm Bill Early This Week


Source: Farm Futures (edited for style and grammar)

The Senate is set to begin discussion on the 2014 farm bill on Monday afternoon, according to the official Senate schedule.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, on Thursday filed cloture* on the farm bill conference report, calling for a cloture vote at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3. If invoked, there will be 20 minutes of debate remaining at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday and a final vote on the report adoption will begin following any discussion.

If approved by the Senate, the bill, which the House passed by a 251-166 [last] Wednesday, will then move on to the White House for the President's signature.

Though Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, chairwoman of the Senate Ag Committee, said she expects the bill will pass, there will be some opposition.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is expected to oppose the bill because it does not include the payment limit reforms that were approved by both the House and Senate prior to conference.

On the Senate floor last Thursday, Grassley said that the conference committee, "in another brazen act of manipulation, eliminated my simple, enforceable reform."

"Growing wholesome food to feed the world has always been one of the noblest occupations in my opinion," Grassley said. "But if I were to vote yes on this bill, it would be an endorsement of the egregious manipulation of my payment limit reforms behind closed doors. I cannot in good conscience do that."

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, a former ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee, also said he would oppose the bill.

"We should not march backwards and pass a farm bill with more government subsidies, more regulations and more waste," Roberts argued this week. "Producers, consumers, and our global trading partners expect more. Unfortunately, U.S. taxpayers deserve better than this conference report."


*Editor's Note: According to the Senate glossary, cloture is: "The only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster. Under the cloture rule (Rule XXII), the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes."