WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) has been selected to serve as a conferee to work on reconciling the differences in farm bill legislation passed by the Senate and House of Representatives.
“I am grateful that Republican Leader McConnell and Ranking Member Cochran have selected me to serve on the conference committee. This is an experienced and knowledgeable group of senators who are all ready to work in good faith to get a fair bill for everyone,” Boozman said. “Finding common ground is critical for our nation’s agricultural producers. I believe that we can come to an agreement that establishes an adequate safety net for farmers so we can continue to have the safest and most affordable food in the world.”
The Senate passed a farm bill in June that authorized funding for commodities and nutrition programs. The House-passed bill only authorized funding for commodities programs. It did not include a nutrition title. The conference committee will have to reconcile these approaches into a compromise bill that would be able to pass both chambers and be signed into law.
“Getting the farm bill to conference is a big step in the right direction. Once the House appoints its conferees, we can begin the discussions on how to resolve the difference in opinion on how much to spend on each program. Both bills contain good reforms and the various backgrounds, philosophies and regions represented on this conference committee will help us reach that goal,” Boozman said.
The leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS), will serve on the conference committee. The additional members appointed by their party’s leadership are Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO) Sherrod Brown, (D-OH), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Harkin, (D-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Patrick Leahy, (D-VT) and Pat Roberts (R-KS).
The current extension of the farm bill expires on September 30th.