Congress back, Reid agenda includes farm bill, jobless aid


McClatchy Washington Bureau

Congress is back in session after a 10 day break for the Martin Luther King birthday holiday, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Monday promised an ambitious agenda.






Among his priorities: A farm bill, combatting sexual assault in the military, more presidential nominations and another effort to extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits.


Congress plans to work for about three weeks before recessing for President's Day in mid-February.


Reid, D-Nevada, praised the farm bill as having the potential to "reduce the deficit and cut waste and fraud, all while protecting hungry children and families."


 Here's more of Reid's remarks to the Senate:


"The Senate will also debate legislation to effectively prevent and punish sexual assault in the nation’s Armed Forces.


"And Democrats will continue our fight to restore benefits to 1.6 million Americans looking for work during difficult economic times. In the two weeks since Republicans filibustered a bill to restore this important lifeline, an additional 150,000 Americans have lost their emergency unemployment benefits"


Republicans counter that they've been willing to pass an extension but Democrats have rejected their proposals to pay for the plan.


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