The top lawmakers on the farm bill conference committee met this week, ahead of the first formal meeting next week.
The farm bill conference is set to meet September 5th, in the first public meeting likely dominated by posturing and speeches. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts told Politico that he, Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway ranking member Collin Peterson, had made “real progress” during the meeting, but did not get into specifics. Roberts is hopeful to submit a conference report to the committee, if ready at the time.
Much of the work on the farm bill is ongoing at the staff level, and that’s expected to continue. The committee faces the task of merging the two versions of the bills, including the controversial Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program work requirements.