As expected, early last week the Senate reappointed its farm bill conferees. The House, however, has yet to name its conferees. In late September, staff had indicated that the House would appoint conferees shortly after October 1. With the government shutdown, the appointment of conferees will likely be postponed until Congress reaches an agreement on funding the federal government.
Currently, House leadership has not signaled whether it will only appoint conferees who are members of the Agriculture Committee. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who is a former Agriculture Committee Chairman and current committee member, has publicly made a push to be included in the conference negotiations.
Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) will establish the Senate Chicken Caucus. The caucus’ legislative agenda aligns with the poultry industry’s interests, including lowering corn prices through reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard and opening foreign markets to the industry. Other members may include Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), Tom Carper (D-DE), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Mark Pryor (D-AR).