The naming of Senate farm bill conferees was left undone this week. Negotiations over numbers and naming of conferees, in addition to farm policy issues not contained in the current farm bills under consideration, were rumored to be in active discussions. The Senate left Thursday with these issues unresolved but will return next week. There is general optimism that the Senate will be able to approve a motion to proceed and name conferees next week.
In the meantime, the four farm bill principals, Pat Roberts R-KS, Debbie Stabenow D-MI, Mike Conaway, and Collin Peterson D-MN, met on Thursday to begin informal discussions on the farm bill. Afterwards, they issued a joint statement: “We look forward to working together to get a Farm Bill finished as quickly as possible, and we’re committed to finding solutions to resolve the differences. We must keep working to provide American farmers and families with the certainty and predictability they need and deserve.”