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Tentative farm bill deal reached

There are signs a new farm bill will make it through the lame duck session of Congress after all.

House and Senate Ag Committee leaders issued a statement Thursday morning saying they have “reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill.”

Chairmen Mike Conaway and Pat Roberts, and ranking members Collin Peterson and Debbie Stabenow say they are working to finalize legal and report language as well as Congressional Budget Office scores, but there is more work to do.   The four legislative leaders say they are committed to delivering the new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.

Pat Roberts told reporters he is pushing for the CBO to get cost estimates as soon as possible.

Conaway says, “The four of us have agreed in principle where we’re going to get to and now is the time to finish that off.”  he says there’s a lot to do in the remaining two weeks of the Congressional session.  “The next step will be to get the conference report written and available for members to look at.  We’ve got conferees on the Conference Committee that will need to come in and sign the conference report.  At this stage, I’ve not had a conversation with leadership on what the timing is, if we go first, the Senate goes first, will this be a stand-alone bill, will there be other things packaged together with it?  Those decisions are yet to be made.”

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