June 1, 2012
Below we provide our best guess about updates on the timing of the next steps for the farm bill in the Senate and House.
Little has changed from what we reported last week in terms of our best guess for the timing of the Senate 2012 Farm Bill floor debate. When the Senate returns next week from the Memorial Day recess, the Senate is expected to vote first on the nomination of a federal district judge and then to take up consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
In terms of which day exactly the Senate will begin consideration of the farm bill, it is hard to say. There are competing reports about whether the farm bill is still up next after the Paycheck Fairness Act, or whether the agenda has changed slightly. If the farm bill is still up next after the consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, then the farm bill may come up as soon as late Tuesday or Wednesday, June 5 or June 6. This is because it is likely that the Senate will not have enough votes to proceed with consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act. We still think, however, that our estimate from last week is a more reliable bet — that debate may begin closer to Thursday, June 7 — although everything may change.
Once the Senate takes up the farm bill on the floor, the debate may last as long as two weeks, according to one media account. If debate begins next week, we still expect that it will at least spill over into the week of June 11.
Like we reported previously, we still expect the House Agriculture Committee to markup its version of the farm bill during the week of June 18.
The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee will be marking up its agriculture appropriations bill next Wednesday, June 6.
June will be a critical month for the farm bill. If you care about the outcomes of the farm bill, sign-up to receive action alerts on when to take action in support of sustainable food and agriculture systems!