The U.S. Senate could begin consideration of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s 2012 farm bill, “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012,” this week.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has confirmed that the committee bill cuts $23.6 billion from current programs. 

As in all farm bills, there will be a number of amendments offered during Senate consideration.  These could include: packer ban, Humane Society of the United States-United Egg Producers federal animal care standard for laying-hens, tighter farm program payment caps, a cap on crop insurance premium subsidies, linking crop insurance participation to conservation compliance, cuts to crop insurance, rural development funding, cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program) and amendments regarding various commodity programs. 

The Senate Agriculture Committee leadership, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), are working very closely on the bill because they know it will take a bipartisan effort to pass the bill.