The Senate once again has approved a short-term extension of the farm bill, giving House-Senate farm bill conference committee members until May 2 to complete new legislation.

“The conferees have agreed on a majority of the provisions in this bill,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the farm bill conference committee.

Harkin, Democrat from Iowa, said one area where House and Senate agriculture leaders agree is that they do not want the one-year extension of the current farm bill that President Bush recommended in a statement issued by the White House yesterday (April 23).

“We want to finish the good bill that we have before us,” he said in a statement issued by the Senate Agriculture Committee. “To do that we need another short-term extension to allow the work to get completed, including the working out of the offsets and tax issues.”

Harkin and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., both urged the administration to do more than simply “throw up obstacles to the passage of the new farm bill.

“I urge the President not just to sign that extension, but to begin to show constructive leadership in helping us to get this bill done,” said Harkin.