McConnell files cloture on farm bill
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., late today filed cloture on H.R. 2, the farm bill and the substitute with amendments filed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
Procedurally, the earliest these cloture votes can occur is Friday, one hour after the Senate convenes unless time is yielded back, according to the Senate periodical Press Gallery.
The Senate usually doesn’t stay in session on Friday, especially before a congressional recess.
The Senate is now in a period of morning business. McConnell or his designee is likely to come to the Senate floor to provide further guidance on the schedule for the rest of the week.
It’s not clear if there will be votes on any individual farm bill amendments.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., today said he wanted to offer an amendment that would stop the Agriculture Department from spending any trade promotion money on entities owned by the Cuban military.
Roberts said that, while senators want to offer amendments, it is important to get the farm bill passed.
After Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., explained his amendment to allow partial haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land, Roberts said he supports Thune’s amendment.
In a news release, Roberts and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., thanked 504 groups representing thousands of agriculture, food, nutrition, hunger, forestry, conservation, rural, business, faith-based, research, and academic interests for issuing statements supportive of the bill.
“We’re pleased the Senate farm bill has overwhelming support from hundreds of leading organizations across the country,” said Roberts and Stabenow. “This is what happens when the Senate works the way it is supposed to work – in a bipartisan fashion. This is a good bill that accomplishes what we set out to do – provide certainty and predictability for farmers, families, and rural communities.”