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After much back-door wrangling over last-minute issues, the U.S. Senate moved to conference the Farm Bill via voice vote July 31, Roll Call reported.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d like to see a Farm Bill conference report ready after Labor Day, which would give lawmakers just over a month to finalize the legislation.
McConnell says Senate and House leaders are “committed to staying in touch, although they are taking a six-week break,” referring to the House’s August recess that began a week earlier.
Conference negotiators will have to, contend with differences between the bills on conservation programs and subsidies.
The House bill would remove $795 million over 10 years from conservation funding, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That includes repealing the CSP program favored by Ben Schole.
The Senate would keep conservation spending at current levels, although some money from CSP would move to other programs. The Senate bill also prioritizes conservation funding for projects that do the most good for soil and water quality.