On Friday President Bush signed a week extension of the current farm bill to give Congress until this Friday to finish a new bill. The Farm Bill Conference Committee met for the first time since that extension was granted on Tuesday and received a letter from the President in which he called for an extension of current farm law for at least a year.
The idea was met with criticism. House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said it's a bad idea and ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee, Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said that a one-year or two-year extension was not the way to go.
Conferees did make progress on the bill Tuesday, approving titles on crop insurance, the Commodity Reauthorization Act and support for fruit and vegetable growers. The House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees also met about funding for the farm bill and leaders say they are close to resolving tax issues.
"I think we are close," said Senate Ag Committee Chair Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. "But close ain't there."