The House and Senate could consider the bill next week, Collin Peterson says
By Diego Flammini
Members of the U.S. Congress remain confident they can pass a new Farm Bill before the House and Senate adjourn on Dec. 14.
Last week, legislators announced they reached an “agreement in principle” on the new bill.
But the passing of President George H.W. Bush on Nov. 30 delayed any further progress for about a week as the country pays its respects.
Even with the added delay, a new bill could be in place before the Christmas break, said U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson from Minnesota, the top Democrat on the House’s ag committee.
“With any luck it’ll be out, it’ll be passed by the end of next week,” he told reporters yesterday, The Associated Press reported.
“But knowing how things go around here, it may drag into the week after. But I think we are going to get this thing done before the end of the year.”
The final bill is expected to get filed Monday, the House will debate it on Wednesday or Thursday and the Senate could consider the bill the day after, Peterson said.
Other lawmakers are optimistic about passing a new Farm Bill within the short window.
Passing the five-year, US$900 billion piece of law will also provide a chance to reflect on the process and how to avoid a similar situation, said Rep. Neal Dunn from Florida, who also sits on the House ag committee.
“We will pass (the bill), but there is a lesson there,” he told WCJB yesterday. “The brinksmanship, I think, does not do anybody any favors because we could’ve done honestly a better bill (if) everyone could’ve agreed bipartisan on a better bill if we weren’t right here at the brink of where we have to do it.”
Congress allowed the 2014 Farm Bill to expire at the end of September.
If they’re unable to pass a new bill, they may ask for an extension of the 2014 bill.