Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are expected to appoint their members of the farm bill conference committee this week. but Politico says the upper chamber will need to clear some procedural hurdles on the floor before that can officially happen.
During the last farm bill debate, 12 senators, including seven from the majority and five from the minority, were appointed to the committee. The task ahead will be to reconcile differences with the House version of the farm bill. These are the final steps before the farm bill reconciliation process can officially get going.
The challenge is that House lawmakers leave for the August recess after this week. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says that even though he won’t be in Washington, he’ll stay in touch with staff members working on reconciling the two versions of the farm bill. McConnell has actually canceled most of the August recess for the Senate, so most of the chamber’s members will be in town for the bulk of the negotiations.