The House and Senate farm bill conference will begin next Wednesday, October 30, House Agriculture committee leaders announced yesterday.  The first public meeting of the farm bill conference committee will take place at 1:00 p.m. in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building and will be chaired by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK).  “The agenda for the meeting of conferees will include opening statements and discussion of H.R. 2642, The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013,” according to a press release from Chairman Frank Lucas.

The Senate passed its comprehensive farm bill in the early summer, while the House passed its farm policy and food aid proposals in two separate measures.  The legislation will be put back together for the sake of the House-Senate compromise.  One of the many issues to be resolved will be funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamps program.  The Senate bill cuts approximately $4 billion in funding from the program over the next decade, while the House bill would cut nearly $40 billion.

Forty-one House and Senate lawmakers have been assigned to the conference committee, with most of the members from the House and Senate Agriculture committees, with others appointed by party leaders.  Some of the House committee members also come from the Ways and Means and Foreign Affairs Committees because the farm bill deals with some tax policy and foreign aid issues.

January 1 is the deadline for Congress to pass a new farm bill.  If not passed, parts of federal agriculture policy will begin reverting back to 1940s-era laws and price levels.

Following is a list of the House and Senate conferees:

Republicans, House of Representatives

  • Rep. Frank D. Lucas, R-OK, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
  • Rep. Steve King, R-IA
  • Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-TX
  • Rep. Mike Rogers, R-AL
  • Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-TX
  • Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-PA
  • Rep. Austin Scott, R-GA
  • Rep. Rick Crawford, R-AR
  • Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL
  • Rep. Kristi Noem, R-SD
  • Rep. Jeff Denham, R-CA
  • Rep. Rodney Davis, R-IL
  • Rep. Steve Southerland, R-FL
  • Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Rep. Tom Marino, R-PA
  • Rep. Dave Camp, R-MI, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee
  • Rep. Sam Johnson, R-TX

Democrats, House of Representatives

  • Rep. Collin Peterson, D-MN, ranking member of House Agriculture Committee
  • Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-NC
  • Rep. Jim Costa, D-CA
  • Rep. Tim Walz, D-MN
  • Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
  • Rep. Jim McGovern, D-MA
  • Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-WA
  • Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-CA
  • Rep. Filemon Vela, D-TX
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
  • Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Rep. Sandy Levin, D-MI, ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee

Democrats, Senate

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, chairman of Senate Agriculture Committee
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT
  • Sen. Tom Harkin, D-IA
  • Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO

Republicans, Senate

  • Sen. Thad Cochran, R-MS, ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee
  • Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS
  • Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA
  • Sen. John Boozman, R-AR
  • Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND