Senate Schedules Dec. 5 Vote for Farm Disaster Aid

Discussion of ag appropriations bill, including $4.5 billion farm disaster amendment, pushed back to December in Senate.

The U.S. Senate failed to come to terms on an ag disaster aid plan Thursday, pushing the discussion back, but the ag appropriations package that include the farm disaster aid plan will be the first order of business when the Senate reconvenes on Dec. 5 and a vote should occur that afternoon.

Several parties hope to push the Agricultural Appropriations Act during the lame-duck session, including the White House and many of the Democrats backing the $4.5 billion farm disaster aid amendment. However, a closed-session discussion of other issues skewed the timetable for the ag appropriations package, leading both parties to agree to make it the first priority in December.

Although many Democrats currently back the ag disaster aid plan, a Democratic majority in the next Congress, which convenes in January, would not necessarily help the passage of a farm disaster aid plan. Some incoming Democrats come from urban areas, and some may be too fiscally conservative to back the disaster aid plan.

The agricultural disaster aid plan aims to benefit farmers and ranchers who suffered losses due to environmental disasters, including drought, in 2005 and 2006.

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