By Jerry Hagstrom
DTN Political Correspondent
WASHINGTON (DTN) -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has scheduled debate on the proposed one-month extension of the farm bill late Thursday, but an expected meeting of the principal negotiators on the farm bill could determine whether that extension bill actually goes to a vote.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., filed the extension bill, and the House Rules Committee voted 9-3 Wednesday to bring it up under a closed rule, which means no debate. The House is scheduled Thursday to take up the budget deal that would determine how the government would spend money for the next two years. Cantor's schedule says the House will "begin debate" on the farm bill extension, and the wording suggests the vote would not be held until Friday morning. The House is scheduled to leave for the year at 11 a.m. Friday.
House and Senate Agriculture committee leaders put intense pressure on their staffs Wednesday to finish as much of the farm bill as possible by Thursday so the four principal leaders -- Lucas, House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Senate Agriculture ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss. -- could meet and possibly announce a framework for a farm bill conference report to be voted on in early January.
No location or time for that meeting had been announced at the time of writing.
Lucas has said he would not push for it to be considered on the House floor if the principal negotiators are near an agreement that would be brought up when Congress returns in early January.
The Senate is scheduled to return Jan. 6 and the House on Jan. 7.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said an extension may be necessary, but Stabenow and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have said the Senate will not consider it.
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