Politico and others reported Farm Bill Conference Committee talks stumbled as lawmakers headed home for Thanksgiving
House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said it would be “very challenging” to meet the Republican leadership’s schedule of having a final agreement back on the House floor by Dec. 13.
This is not surprising given all the issues on the table, and it by no means indicates that the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will not finalize a Farm Bill some time in the weeks ahead, according to Bob Gray, writing in the Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives’ NDFC Newsletter. Watching the negotiations from a distance is like watching a roller coaster, he said, since one day everyone seems optimistic and the next day frustration sets in as the two sides grapple with the thorny issues that separate them from completing the bill in the near future.
The House is scheduled to return Dec. 2-13. The Senate will return Dec. 9-20. Negotiators plan to talk by phone on Nov. 25, and there is the possibility that the full House-Senate conference may meet Dec. 4.