Over the holiday weekend the House of Representatives countered the proposed $12.3 billion above baseline for the Farm Bill the Senate sent to them last Friday with an offer of between $8-10 billion above baseline.
According to Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the staff of Chairman Max Baucas, D-Mont., has been meeting with House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to further explain how the Senate Finance Committee put its tax package together.
"I'm looking forward to more formal talks this week so we can continue forward," Grassley says. "Everybody's got a desire to get a bill done and of course the March 15 deadline will keep our feet to the fire."
Grassley says he thinks the final number is going to come in at the $8-9 billion above benchmark, and that it will be finished by the deadline.
"Congress tends to do things by deadlines," Grassley says. "I don't think anyone wants to face the prospects of failure on this. Everybody knows that it'd be disastrous to go back to the 1949 Farm Bill."