Republican Congressman Steve King says a Farm Bill deal won’t necessarily be easy to strike in early 2014. King is one of the Farm Bill conference committee members who’ve been trying to strike a deal for the past few months.
“There are a number of unresolved issues that we’re not able to get an agreement between the conferees and the principle negotiators,” King says. “That means we’re likely to have to sit down — the 41 of us — and let’s just say we’ll have to fight it out.”
The House passed another extension of current farm law in December, but the Senate did not, hoping that would put more pressure on negotiators to come up with a compromise in early January.
“That’s going to be the item that’s going to be on the front of our plate from the moment we touch down there,” King says. “It is right now, as a matter of fact. We’re working this thing behind the scenes pretty hard.”
Negotiators have yet to resolve the thorniest issue: how deeply to cut food stamp benefits. House Republicans have voted for a reduction that’s 10 times deeper than Senate Democrats endorsed when the Farm Bill cleared the senate this summer.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)