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Published October 14, 2013, 05:41 PM

House conferees appointed, congress more hopeful for farm bill resolution

It's been two weeks since Congress allowed the farm bill to expire, but members say they've made some progress over the weekend to try to get a new bill in the coming weeks. That's because House conferees were appointed on Saturday.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

It's been two weeks since Congress allowed the farm bill to expire, but members say they've made some progress over the weekend to try to get a new bill in the coming weeks. That's because House conferees were appointed on Saturday.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota House members will have seats at the table when Congress attempts to negotiate a new farm bill. This includes representatives Kristi Noem from South Dakota, and Collin Peterson and Tim Walz from Minnesota.

They'll join North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who was named as one of the Senate negotiators in August. In June, the Senate voted to pass its version of the farm bill.

The House initially split its version into two bills, one for farm programs and one for nutrition, before combining them again. North Dakota legislators say Congress hopes to get a farm bill done in the coming weeks.

The conferees will have to bridge some significant gaps between the Senate and House versions, including a 40 billion dollar proposed cut to food stamps in the House versus 4 billion in the Senate.

Given the financial crisis and government shutdown in Washington, D.C., legislators say there isn't a timeline for this conference committee to start work.

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