One order of business for Congress after the Labor Day holiday: re-upping the Farm Bill, which expires next year. Currently, there is hope for a bipartisan success this fall.
The farm bill provides subsidies for farmers and governs the food stamp program, and it has traditionally skirted the worst of partisan politics.
But vacancies at the top of the Agriculture Department mean fewer leaders working on the farm bill.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the ag committee’s top Democrat, says the openings are unfortunate but shouldn’t hinder the process she’s working on with the chair of the committee, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts.
"We are proceeding regardless of that and Sen. Roberts and I work very much as a team and intend to move in a very methodical way to bring forward a farm bill in the Senate," Stabenow says.
Senate leaders have suggested the bill could be completed this calendar year.