Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee Chairwoman Stabenow (D-Mich.) formally introduced The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act (S. 3240) that was approved 16-5 by the full Committee on April 26.

The formal introduction is necessary so the legislation can be considered by the full Senate.

Chairwoman Stabenow has been quoted in numerous publications as saying the legislation will be considered by the Senate in early June, but no specific date has been announced. In a news release, she stated, “This bill has strong bipartisan support from Senators across the country and I am looking forward to beginning floor consideration soon.”

Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) said he will make floor time available for the farm bill, but he gave no details on its scheduling. He said the Senate has a full agenda in June with bills dealing with small business tax cuts, paycheck fairness, student loan rates and cyber security legislation when they return from the Memorial Day recess on June 4.

A copy of the bill can be accessed on the Senate Agriculture Committee’s website, www.ag.senate.gov/issues/farm-bill.

During an appearance on a NPR radio talk show, Chairwoman Stabenow raised an issue that has dominated debate behind the scenes since the Committee reported the bill. When asked about Southern Senators’ complaints that the revenue program won’t work for rice and peanuts, she said, “A lot of folks would argue they’ve gotten more back than their percentage of the baseline.”

A Stabenow spokesman said she was referring to the fact that “folks would argue some crops receive a greater share of the payments than their share of production.”