Regarding crop insurance, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, R-N.D., kicked things off Monday by hosting a Farm Bill discussion in her home state, focusing on ensuring a suitable safety net. Heitkamp is a member of the Senate Ag Committee and chair of the Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation.
"My first priority is to ensure that growers have a safety net that allows them to survive in tough years and thrive in good years. We have put together a solid Farm Bill," she said, further indicating that it will be passed out of committee on Tuesday.
Sen. John Hoeven also joined Heitkamp in the discussion, adding that he and Heitkamp would "do everything we can" to bring the bill to the full Senate yet this month.
Another hot topic that might be more evident as both House work towards crafting a bill they can both agree on is the large disparity between SNAP savings, amounting to $4 billion in the Senate and $20 billion in the House.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has already pledged to put forth an amendment eliminating any savings found in SNAP cuts, however Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., maintains the cuts will provide savings without eliminating support for food banks, seniors' food programs and healthy school lunch initiatives.
Also likely to get play are dairy policy and environmental and conservation reforms.
The Senate took nearly five hours for markup in 2012. The bill later moved on to the floor and was passed on June 21 with a vote of 64-35.
Farm Bill Deal Reached
Farm Bill Stalemate On Hold For Now