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Stabenow confirms farm bill markup in late April

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., today confirmed that committee members want to have a have a bill passed out of committee by the end of April, DTN correspondent Chris Clayton reported late today.

“That’s our goal,” Stabenow said of the timeline. “We’re going to be working very hard over the next two weeks at the staff level. We're going title by title. Sen. (Pat) Roberts [R-Kan.] and I have been working very closely together.”

Referring to an unannounced committee meeting Wednesday, Stabenow said, “At our meeting I think everybody is very serious about getting a strong, bipartisan bill."

Stabenow said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also is willing to bring a farm bill to the floor that moves out of committee with strong, bipartisan support.

“I am confident we are going to be able to get it up before the Senate,” Stabenow said. “He hasn't given me a particular time frame. I would like very much for that to be May. There are a lot of competing interests.”

Stabenow acknowledged that some difficulties remain in smoothing out the commodity title.

“It’s tricky. I think we have a majority of folks on the same page but there are some issues we have got to work through,” Stabenow said. “But I am absolutely confident we can get there.”