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Where is the Farm Bill?

Posted: 9/23/2013 | Views: 712

The expiring farm bill is caught up in the drama of over passing a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond next Monday. Complicating the situation is the Republicans’ demand to cut spending and taxes, defunding the Affordable Care Act and the debt limit increase. The House also now needs to pass a procedural motion to combine the farm bill and the just-passed nutrition bill before farm bill conferees can be named.

Then the two bills will go to the Senate where they can accept them or reject them, which is most likely to mean a rejection to occur. After they reject them, they should ask for a conference. Then both the House and Senate will appoint conferees. Since they are not in session until Wednesday, it’s probably the following week before conferees can be appointed.

The House and Senate both make cuts in food stamps, but the level of those cuts is far apart. Both chambers also take a different policy approach to the commodity title. Depending on how these differences are worked out in the conference, will depend on whether the President will sign the final bill. Only time will tell that final outcome, but both the House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairs appear to remain committed to getting a farm bill on the books this year.

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