Conference Committee Approves Farm Bill Titles

Agricultural leadership is dead set against a long-term extension.

The clock continues to tick toward Friday when the current one-month extension of the farm bill expires. The Farm Bill Conference Committee did approve the credit, research and trade titles during their meeting on Tuesday.

"The farm bill conference committee continues to work toward completion of this farm bill," says Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. "The adoption of these three titles moves toward our overall goal of passing a strong, national bill. These are critical investments that will bring funding and good policy for agriculture research, international food aid and support for beginning farmers to meet needs in agriculture and the changing economy."

The Administration has said that if a bill is not reached by the end of this extension they will request a one year extension of the 2002 Farm Bill. Both Harkin and House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., say they don't believe their chambers have the votes to pass such an extension. Peterson says he will not support a one-year extension and will fight to keep it from passage. Harkin also opposes a year-long extension, although he says an extension of a few days will be needed to finish work on the bill.

The House-Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee will meet again Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. EDT to consider other titles of the Farm Bill.

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