Harkin Hopes to Move Forward on Farm Bill

Chairman says President needs to bend on funding issues.

Published on: Feb 1, 2008

The White House has reaffirmed this week that they will not support tax revenue to fund the Farm Bill. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says closing tax loopholes is not a tax raise and that the President is going to have to bend on that or else the bill is headed for a veto.

"It's a complex bill and any rigid my way or the highway stance on the part of the White House is not very helpful," Harkin says. "Most of the action is taking place behind the scenes, but make no mistake we are moving forward aggressively."

Harkin spoke with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., earlier this week and he will be talking with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about getting Farm Bill conference committee members named.

"I hope we can get the conferees appointed and then maybe we can start getting together on this," Harkin says. "On the Democratic side Finance Chair Max Baucus will be a conferee. I'm hopeful Senator Grassley, the Finance Committee ranking member will be one of the Republican conferees, of course that's up to the Minority Leader. We will be counting on them to help us identify funding sources that can be agreed on by both houses of Congress and the White House."