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Cantor clarifies farm bill remarks

According to his spokesperson, Rep. Eric Cantor never committed to a specific vote noting that, ‘All he said was we'd address the issue.’

According to his spokesperson, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) does not plan to schedule a vote on the Agriculture Committee’s version of new farm legislation when Congress returns on Nov. 13 in Lame Duck session.

Cantor’s spokesperson was addressing a news report published by the Idaho Statesman which said the majority leader intended to schedule a vote on the bill (H.R. 6-83).

The newspaper quoted Cantor as telling reporters, “I'm committed to bring the issue to the floor and then to see a way forward so we can get the votes to pass (a bill).” According to the spokesperson, though, Rep. Cantor never committed to a specific vote noting that, “All he said was we'd address the issue.”

In a statement the same day, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee Chairwoman Stabenow (D-Mich.) said, “I'm very pleased to hear that Majority Leader Cantor is now committed to bring the farm bill to the floor immediately after the election. America's farmers, ranchers, small businesses and 16 million Americans employed in agriculture desperately need the certainty and disaster relief the farm bill provides.”

Most Washington officials have assumed the timing of a vote on the legislation depends on the elections’ outcome.

If Republicans capture the White House and the Senate, House leaders probably would wait until the new Congress is sworn in before taking up new farm legislation.

Another possibility is to add the farm bill to legislation addressing spending cuts and taxes that could develop during the Lame Duck session — as the House and Senate bills offer substantial budget savings that could be valuable offsets to tax and spending legislation.

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