The farm bill is finally moving forward as the House of Representatives voted to go to conference with the Senate on the 2013 farm bill. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) officially named the following 17 Republican farm bill conferees: from the House Agriculture Committee: Congressmen Frank Lucas (R-OK), chairman, Steve King (R-IA), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Mike Rogers (R-AL), Mike 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); Republican Leadership: Steve Southerland (R-FL): House Foreign Affairs Committee: Ed Royce (R-CA) and Tom Marino (R-PA); and House Ways & Means Committee: Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sam Johnson (R-TX).  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) officially named the following 12 Democratic conferees: from the House Agriculture Committee: Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ranking Member, Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Jim Costa (D-CA), Tim Walz (D-MN), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA), and Filemon Vela (D-TX); Democratic Leadership: Marcia Fudge (D-MI); House Foreign Affairs Committee: Eliot Engel (D-NY); and House Ways and Means Committee: Sandy Levin (D-MI).   

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During consideration of moving to conference, the House considered a number of motions to instruct the House conferees on certain farm bill provisions.  The House approved a measure to instruct farm bill conferees from the House to accept Senate provisions that would require farmers with an adjusted gross income of more than $750,000 to pay higher premiums for subsidized crop insurance.  By a very narrow margin, the House defeated a motion to instruct the House farm bill conferees to support a five-year farm bill that included both agriculture and nutrition programs.  The “farm-only” farm bill passed by the House was for five years and the nutrition bill was for three years.  The motion also instructed the House to support current permanent law, the 1949 and 1938 agriculture acts.  The House farm bill replaced current law with the commodity title of the House passed farm bill.   A motion to instruct conferees on the sugar program was also defeated.