Today, the Senate named their representatives to the House/Senate conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill. Here’s the full list of House and Senate conferees.
In a rare move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named himself to the conference committee – meaning he will be in the room when the permanent fate of hemp is decided.
As a reminder, the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill contains the Hemp Farming Act, sponsored by Leader McConnell and co-sponsored by a bi-partisan coalition of more than two-dozen Senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The House version is silent on hemp.
The House/Senate conference committee will resolve the differences between the two bills – and McConnell will be twisting arms to ensure the Senate hemp language prevails.
He needs our help.
We’ve re-formatted our online portal to empower you to help get hemp across the finish line. Input your zip code, and our portal will determine whether your Congressman and/or Senators serve on the conference committee. If so, with a few keystrokes, you can send them a personalized email urging them to support the Hemp Farming Act language. The portal will also enable you to send a message to your Members of Congress who don’t serve on the conference committee to urge them to reach out to their colleagues that do.
POLITICO had this update on the Farm Bill on the 30th July
Farm bill conference stalls in Senate
By LIZ CRAMPTON 07/30/2018 10:00 AM EDT
With help from Doug Palmer and Maya Parthasarathy
FARM BILL CONFERENCE STALLS IN SENATE: Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) was hopeful that the Senate last week would vote to start formal farm bill conference talks and name its conferees. That may have kept Congress on track to pass a farm bill by the Sept. 30 deadline.
That didn’t happen. Now, the House is out for summer recess, which means the first public meeting of the conference committee won’t take place until September at the earliest. The Senate is likely to vote this week — but only if Roberts and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) can sort out some lingering issues that have held up next steps for the farm bill.
What’s been the holdup: One reason for the delay was that Senate leaders failed to reach a deal on addressing Sen. Deb Fischer’s request for a vote on her bill that would ease regulations on service hours for agricultural truckers.
Roberts has also had to juggle an attempt from Sen. John Kennedy to revive his amendment that would require SNAP recipients to show photo ID when making purchases using benefits. Roberts said last week that he was discussing the matter with Kennedy, and reminded reporters that the SNAP amendment, co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, failed on the floor by a wide margin.
Conference musical chairs: Roberts and Stabenow also have to determine who will make the final cut and be named to the conference committee, which is proving to be a difficult task because more lawmakers want to be on the panel than there are seats available.
Roberts has tossed around having a target of nine senators on the conference, meaning five Republicans and four Democrats would earn spots awarded by seniority (the 2013 farm bill conference had 12 senators). They will have to be able to hold their weight against the 47 House members chosen by Republican and Democratic leaderships to serve on the committee.