Senate Democrats are moving to farm legislation that they think could bolster several red-state incumbents who are seeking reelection in 2014.
Last year, the Senate passed a five-year farm bill 64 to 35 only to see it die in the House because conservatives opposed the funding levels for food stamps.
Democrats believe the failure of the farm bill helped them retain the majority in the 2012 election, and are hoping for a repeat as they enter the 2014 election cycle.
“There is no question that the House refusal to take up farm bill helped Democrats retain the Senate,” said one senior Senate Democratic aide. “Democrats see an opportunity to make headway in red states and rural America.”
GOP leaders refused to bring up a five-year farm bill last year, but are sending strong signals that they won’t let Democrats use the issue against them again.