Posted October 14, 2013
On Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) named farm bill conferees, and will now move forward to conference with the Senate, according to an Agri-Pulse article available here.
The House conferees include 17 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
Republican conferees from the House Agriculture Committee include: Chairman Frank Lucas, (R-CA), Steve King (R-IA), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Mike Rogers (R-AL), Michael Conaway (R-TX), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Austin Scott (R-GA), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Martha Roby (R-AL), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Jeff Denham (R-CA), and Rodney Davis (R-IL).
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) will serve as a leadership conferee.  Republican conferees from the House Foreign Affairs Committee include Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA).  Republican conferees from the House Ways and Means Committee include Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX).
Democratic conferees from the House Agriculture Committee include: ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Jim Costa (D-CA), Tim Walz (D-MN), Curt Schrader (D-OR), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Suzanne DelBene (D-WA), Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA), and Filemon Vela (D-TX).
Rep. Marsha Fudge (D-OH), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, will serve as a leadership conferee.  House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot Engel (D-NY), and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member, Sandy Levin (D-MI) were also named as conferees.
The naming of Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) has been seen as a “sign that the House will insist on the $39 billion in food stamp cuts in the House-passed bill” according to an article by The Hill, available here.  Southerland authored a provision in the bill that allows states to impose new work requirements on SNAP (commonly referred to as food stamps) recipients.  Democrats countered the Southerland appointment by naming Congressional Black Caucus head and SNAP advocate, Rep. Marsha Fudge (D-OH).
Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) was optimistic about the process, saying, “There are challenging issues yet to overcome, but we have a solid team of negotiators in place.  I am confident we can reach consensus and send a five-year farm bill to the president.”
Ranking member Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) said, “I am hopeful that if Republican Leadership can be reasonable and leave the conference committee alone to do its work that we will be able to finish a five-year, comprehensive farm bill this year.”  
For more information on farm bills, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.