Cochran Statement on Naming of Senate Farm Bill Conferees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today issued the following statement regarding Senate conference committee members appointed to negotiate an agreement on a 2013 farm bill with the House of Representatives:

“I appreciate Republican Leader McConnell appointing conferees prior to the August recess and setting the stage for us to try to finalize a 2013 farm bill.  Reconciling differences between the Senate and House will be a challenge, but it is a job that needs to be done for an important sector of the American and global economy.  I look forward to it.

“We have such a good depth of knowledge on our side of the table with Senator Roberts and Senator Chambliss, both of whom are former heads of the Agriculture Committee.  Senators Boozman and Hoeven are also very knowledgeable and active members of our committee, and I look forward to working with them during conference.”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday evening named the following conferees to reconcile differences in farm bill legislation approved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

•   Democrats:  Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)

•   Republicans:  Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.)

The Senate and House agriculture panels early this year began working on a new, five-year farm bill with the goal of enacting it before a short-term extension of current agriculture, conservation and nutrition assistance policies expire Sept. 30.