While the house version remains held up, the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday passed its version of the farm bill which sends the legislation on to the full Senate for consideration. Senators voted 20-1, with just Iowa’s Chuck Grassley voting against the bill. The markup session included a visit by Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who told the Committee the Senate will consider the farm bill before the July Fourth recess. Further, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has asked his party to “not slow down” the process. In a joint statement, Committee leaders Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow said the bipartisan farm bill process “is a reminder of how things should work in Washington,” while urging their Senate colleagues to support the bill. Roberts said he was hopeful the Senate would consider the bill next week. The Senate bill was created to receive votes from both sides of the aisle, a stark difference from the Republican-only backed House version of the bill that failed last month. House Ag Democrats want to “go back to the drawing board” to fix the bill, while the Freedom Caucus is also demanding a vote on immigration before reconsidering the farm bill.
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