Can Congress get a winning streak going on big-ticket items?
After passing a hard-fought transportation bill in June, lawmakers hope to move a half-trillion dollar agriculture bill in July.
The House Agriculture Committee begins marking up the bill — adding amendments to shape the final contours of the legislation — on July 11.
It’s not clear whether the bill will come to the House floor before the August recess — and it may be difficult to move any legislation in September except for temporary funding extensions that would run through the election. The Senate has already passed its version of the Farm Bill.
The version of the bill unveiled by House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) would reduce spending on farm programs by $35 billion over 10 years; the Senate bill would reduce spending by $24 billion. The House bill achieves the deeper cuts by sharply reducing spending on food stamps. Despite the cuts, some conservative groups believe the bill would still spend too much, which might dissuade House Republican leaders from bringing it to the floor.
Here’s the draft of the House Farm Bill: http://agriculture.house.gov/pdf/legislation/FARRMDiscussionDraft.pdf
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About the Author (Author Profile)
CHARLIE MITCHELL. Editor and CEO. Mitchell has covered Washington for two decades. Days after Republicans recaptured the House in 1994, he helped launch a publication called Inside the New Congress. Mitchell went on to become the managing editor of National Journal’s Congress Daily and later editor-in-chief of Roll Call, two of the most respected congressional news outlets in Washington.