Immigration reform and the farm bill will share the spotlight in mid-June, with the House of Representatives poised to debate the farm bill and the Senate continuing debate on comprehensive immigration reform.
The House is expected to take up the farm bill the week of June 17 and industry advocates were hopeful that momentum generated by the Senate’s passage will carryover into the House of Representatives.
“We’re hopeful it won’t get bogged down in amendments and we get a floor vote as soon as we can,” said Ray Gilmer, vice president of issues management and communication for the United Fresh Produce Association.
Frank Gasperini, executive vice president for Vienna, Va.-based National Council of Agricultural Employers, said he remains very optimistic about the chances for Senate passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
“It has had ups and downs, but the talk in the Senate is still real good,” he said. The unity of agricultural interests in support of the bill has been critical, he said June 17.
Some observers have said Senate needs to pass immigration reform with the support of about 70 senators in order to spur the House of Representatives to action.
Gilmer said United Fresh has asked industry members to come to Capitol Hill in June to share their support for the immigration reform package with lawmakers.
“If we don’t have a strong showing in the Senate, it will be that much tougher to get a bill we need from the House in the next few weeks,” Gilmer said June 17.