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Farm Bill Conference to Start Next Week

Oct 23, 2013

The four principals responsible for moving the Farm Bill forward met last week and announced today that the first meeting of the conference committee will be held October 30. The principals are Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS), House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN).

Regarding the dairy title, the House of Representatives will be represented by 15 Republicans and 11 Democrats. In addition to the conference committee members who also serve on the House Committee on Agriculture, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) added Representative Steven Southerland (R-FL), who was a member of the Agriculture Committee last year, to serve on the committee as his representative.

The Speaker also designated two members from the House Ways and Means Committee, Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX), to help negotiate the portions of the Senate dairy title that increase government revenues through the proposed Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP). Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) added Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI) to represent the Democratic position regarding those issues.

These three conferees were added because the Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over government revenues. The Senate Farm Bill would authorize USDA to regulate and tax “handlers” or commercial entities that buy milk. The House bill did not include the DMSP as it was dropped from the bill due to the bipartisan, compromise Goodlatte-Scott amendment that passed by a vote of 291-135.

Under the DMSP, a form of supply management, handlers would be required to remit to the Secretary of Agriculture the amount of money withheld from payments that would otherwise go to producers for milk. USDA is then directed to use the proceeds to artificially raise milk prices through the government purchase of dairy products. The cost of administering the program would be offset by new administrative fees that are also included in the Senate bill. 

For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, vice president of policy and legislative affairs, a

Here is a complete list of conferees.  

House Republicans
Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Steve King (R-IA)
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Austin Scott (R-GA)
Rick Crawford (R-AR)
Martha Roby (R-AL)
Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Jeff Denham (R-CA)
Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Steve Southerland (R-FL)
Ed Royce (R-CA)
Tom Marino (R-PA)
Dave Camp (R-MI)
Sam Johnson (R-TX)

House Democrats
Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
Jim Costa (D-CA)
Timothy Walz (D-MN)
Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
Filemon Vela (D-TX)
Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Sander Levin (D-MI)

Senate Democrats
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Senate Republicans
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
John Boozman (R-AR)
John Hoeven (R-ND)


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