Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on Monday announced changes to the Farm Bill hearings schedule. The hearing on nutrition, originally scheduled for March 14, will be moved up a week to March 7, and the hearing on risk management and commodity programs, initially scheduled for March 21, will move up to March 14.
With two hearings on energy and conservation already completed, the changes indicate Stabenow’s attempt to get a Farm Bill ready for committee mark-up by the end of March. Moving the hearings up a week will give the committee time to negotiate policies after the four hearings are complete. Stabenow has said she wants to write a new five-year Farm Bill rather than extend the current bill or draft a slightly altered bill that would last only a year or two, according to a recent article in The Hagstrom Report.
“Even with the Senate’s attempt to speed up the Farm Bill process, we will remain diligent against any inclusion of a dairy supply management component that would inhibit exports and burden the free market with more regulations,” said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy.
Senate to Act First
The Senate has agreed to work on the Farm Bill first to give freshman House Agriculture Committee members enough time to acclimate themselves with the bill’s details. If the Senate produces a bill and holds a mark-up, the House would then consider the legislation.
Just today, the House Agriculture Committee announced plans to hold four field hearings on the Farm Bill starting next week, according to The Hagstrom Report. The dates and proposed locations are:
- March 9 – Saranac Lake, N.Y.
- March 23 – Galesburg, Ill.
- March 30 – State University, Ark.
- April 20 – Dodge City, Kan.
For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3553.