News Date: 01/24/2008
The Senate returned to work on January 22 and both chambers of Congress are now gearing up for a full legislative agenda in 2008. The House reconvened a week earlier on January 15.
Major legislative action is not expected until after the president's State of the Union Address on January 28. A top priority for congressional leaders of both parties is an economic stimulus package and the first hearings are scheduled in the Senate this week.
Final negotiations on the 2007 farm bill are expected to speed up now that lawmakers are back at work. During the recess, House and Senate Agriculture Committee staff have been holding "pre-conference" discussions. Neither the House nor Senate have appointed members for the conference committee and it is unclear when they will be formally announced. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) has told media reporters that he wants to complete work on the farm bill conference by early February. Since the Senate passed the farm bill on December 14, USDA Acting Secretary Chuck Conner has repeatedly stated that the administration will veto the legislation if a number of changes are not made. (Contact: Charlie Ingram)
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