Stabenow hopeful a new Farm Bill can pass, despite debate over possible government shutdown

Aug 19, 2013

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow is hopeful getting a deal on a new Farm Bill won't be derailed by a looming deadline to avoid a federal government shutdown.

The current Farm Bill’s mix of farm subsidies and low-income food programs expires at the end of September. The next day, unless a budget deal can be reached, the federal government may have to shut down.

Senator Stabenow hopes the focus on the shutdown will not delay passage of the Farm Bill.

“Regardless of the broader discussion going on on the budget, we can get this done,” says Stabenow.   

The Michigan Democrat, who leads the Senate Agriculture committee, says it’s up to the House Republican leadership to get behind one plan.

“We can get this done regardless of the broader debate on the budget,” says Stabenow, “But we have to have a willingness by House leadership….the Speaker (John Boehner)…Majority Leader (Eric Cantor) have to decide they just want to get this done.”

The U.S. Senate has already approved a comprehensive Farm Bill, but the House passed a bill that did not include funding for the federal food stamp program. 

House leaders hope to take up a new bill for Food Stamp programs, but with a major cut in funding.