The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to announce its conferees for farm bill discussions with the U.S. Senate on Friday, Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) tells AgriTalk.
While she thinks it is possible the House and Senate to reach consensus on spending reductions for the nutrition title, Noem says, it will take work.
"We certainly are a long ways apart right now," Noem says. "I think they were at $4.5 billion worth of spending reductions, we were around $40 billion, so that’s a big spread and I’m hoping we can meet in the middle."
Meanwhile, the South Dakota blizzard that has proven devastating for livestock producers adds urgency to the call for a five-year bill.
"We have tens of thousands of dead cattle and no livestock disaster program, which I carried in a bill and had put into our current farm bill that we’re still debating," Noem says. "So it needs to get done."
As for the continuing government shutdown and debt-ceiling deadline, Noem says she and other House Republicans will visit the White House this afternoon to meet with President Barack Obama. The subject will be a short-term bill that "lifts the debt ceiling, possibly some government funding as well, that allows us to have real honest conversation about the vision for how our financial future looks."
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