Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., says she is hoping to get a farm bill proposal approved by the committee by the end of the month. She hopes that the Committee can agree on programs that reduce spending by at least $23 billion over 10 years, the same size reductions claimed in the bill passed by the full Senate last summer.

But committee dynamics have changed.

Senator Thad Cochran, R- Miss., has replaced Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., as the ranking member and he is pushing for safety nets based on target prices, something that was not included in last year’s Senate bill.

In addition, the Congressional Budget Office has determined that last year’s bill really only reduced spending by $13 billion, instead of the $23 billion claimed. There does not appear to be any progress on a new farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee.

There was further progress this week in the efforts to reform immigration policy.