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It took months for the Senate to get a farm bill to the floor for debate. And now it's questionable whether the Senate will even complete debate after Majority Leader Harry Reid halted debate on determining which amendments to allow in farm bill debate. Senators see this as one of the last must-pass pieces of legislation and are looking to attach everything pertaining from war to energy provisions.
Reid said Tuesday with time running out before the Thanksgiving recess, he would only allow amendments germane to the farm bill to be introduced, and under Senate rules he would determine the amendments to be considered. Action stalled with no agreement across the aisle on which amendments should be included. Reid does not feel immigration and estate tax reform should be acceptable amendments, while many agricultural senators and groups feel otherwise.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin,
"With the Administration's misguided veto threat looming over this bill, we cannot waste one more day — one more minute — debating procedure. I urge all of my colleagues to come together so can we resolve the issues raised by the Administration and bring the advancements in this farm bill to realization," Harkin said.
One of the big issues raised by the Administration is the payment limitations. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Bryon Dorgan, D-N.D., have received approval for their amendment which would limit payments to $250,000 to any one individual on an annual basis.