Latham says Farm Bill supporters seeking “sweet spot”
July 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson
Republican Congressman Tom Latham says there is likely to be an effort this week to resurrect the Farm Bill. “I’m optimistic,” Latham says. “We’re trying to find the ‘sweet spot’ to get to 218 votes to move it.” When the House version of the Farm Bill came up for a vote last month, it fell 23 votes short of the 218 votes necessary to pass bills in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I know the leadership and Frank Lucas, chairman of the Ag Committee, are working very hard to find an agreement where we can pass the Farm Bill on the floor,” Latham says. “It’s very possible, if that happens, to bring the bill back to the floor again to get the votes to move it to conference.”
The U.S. Senate has already passed its own version of the Farm Bill and, if the House passed its version soon, a conference committee can be convened to come up with a final compromise on the legislation. Latham says House leaders are counting votes, to see if taking out a controversial provision that let states impose work requirements for food stamp recipients helps or hurts the bill’s chances. “The speaker has commited to get the bill done in July,” Latham says. “as far as getting into the end of the year, so I’m veyr optimistic before we leave for the August recess.”
The U.S. House will reconvene today (Monday), after a break over the 4th of July holiday. The schedule calls for the House to meet a total of 14 days in July and for just the first two days of August. Nine congressional work days are scheduled in September. The one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill expires September 30th.