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Posts by Emma Dumain
January 7, 2014
The long-delayed farm bill may finally be on a glide path to passage, after months of partisan wrangling raised doubts over whether such a day would ever come.
House and Senate conferees are tentatively scheduled to meet Thursday to begin the final process of approving a bill that can be voted on by both chambers, senators and aides said. Leadership aides in both chambers indicated that the long-stalled legislation, which faltered in the House last session, could be sent to the president’s desk by the Martin Luther King Jr. Day recess.
For weeks, Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas, R-Okla., have been engaged in one-on-one negotiations trying to bridge the gap between the two sides. They now believe they have made enough progress to bring the remaining issues to conferees for haggling.
“Sen. Stabenow thinks that sometime this week the conference could be completed. I hope that’s the case,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters Tuesday.
Beyond fighting over the final, contentious issues, there could be increased pressure on conferees to act swiftly on the bill — projected to reduce the deficit by about $20 billion — as members eye potential offsets for a pending three-month jobless benefits extension. Full story
September 3, 2013
Updated 9:10 p.m. | Senate Foreign Relations Committee leaders have reached an agreement on the language for the resolution authorizing the use of force against Syria for up to 90 days — but with no “boots on the ground.”
“Sharing President Obama’s view that our nation is best served when we come together as one, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has crafted a bipartisan Authorization for the Use of Military Force that we believe reflects the will and concerns of Democrats and Republicans alike,” Chairman Robert Menendez said Tuesday in a statement. “Together we have pursued a course of action that gives the President the authority he needs to deploy force in response to the Assad regime’s criminal use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, while assuring that the authorization is narrow and focused, limited in time, and assures that the Armed Forces of the United States will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria.”
The New Jersey Democrat scheduled a markup for Wednesday. Earlier Tuesday, Menendez noted that the new resolution would not permit American boots on the ground.
As drafted, the language worked out between Menendez and ranking member Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would authorize the use of force for 60 days, with provisions making it possible that the authorization would be extended for 30 days after that, according to Senate sources.
While the Senate has authorization language to debate, that’s not yet the case in the House.
With the House and Senate expected to set deadlines for authorization votes by the end of next week, House leaders wouldn’t have much time to draft and approve their own rewrites, especially given the diverse and often free-wheeling membership of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that could result in a marathon markup should that panel be given jurisdiction over the matter.