The Senate is scheduled to vote on—and expected to pass—its version of the Farm Bill later today.
The House is expected to begin debate on the farm bill next week. Ranking member Collin Peterson says he is optimistic the House will finish voting on a final bill by July 1st. It would then go to a House-Senate conference committee to iron out differences between the two bills.
Some of those differences are in the commodity title. But in an interview on C-SPAN, Senate Ag Committee chair Debbie Stabenow said she’s confident those can be resolved.
“What we’ve passed this time is a little closer to where the House is—and I’m sure we can find some common ground,” Stabenow says.
Stabenow says there are also many similarities between the two bills.
“In conservation, the House and the Senate came together and have a pretty common conservation title,” she says. “Specialty crops, crop insurance—I mean we have a number of areas where it’s actually pretty close, if not almost identical.”
However, differences in SNAP, or food stamp funding, could be a sticking point. The Senate bill calls for four-billion dollars in cuts, while the House version cuts 20.5 billion dollars—with pressure from some congressmen to cut even more.