Coming off a shortened winter break, the Senate is back in session, but the House won’t make a return until Jan. 8.
As lawmakers return to Washington, there’s pressure to pass the first farm bill on time since 1990.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, is expecting farm bill talks to begin in early 2018, but thinks the progress could be slow.
“I don’t think we’re going to start until late February on committee action on a bill,” said Grassley during a conference. “Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) [is] committed to get a bill out early next year.”
The first hurdle may be the $81 billion disaster aid package the House passed before the break to help those impacted by floods and fires in 2017.
The House slipped safety net provisions for cotton and dairy farmer insurance options which could also lift the $20 million annual cap on policies for livestock.