Amendments Stall Farm Bill

The 2012 Farm Bill, which only recently advanced to the full Senate for debate, has reportedly been stalled over disagreements on key amendments. While there is no indication how long the impasse may last, many farmers hope that it will be resolved quickly in order to avoid the potential expiration of the current farm bill.

The farm bill debate has been a long and protracted one. For the past several months, politicians on both sides of the political spectrum pontificated about the importance of passing a new bill without taking any definitive steps to do so. With the current bill set to expire at the end of September, it is appearing less and less likely that a new bill will pass in time.

However, just as quickly as the Senate picked up the bill it has been dropped again. Earlier this week, debate was abruptly canceled after several Senators disagreed as to the number of amendments that may be offered. Already, several Senators from agricultural states have offered amendments, ranging from new conservation policies to the elimination of sugar protection programs.

Some Senators feel that without limiting the amendment process, an endless stream of additional legislation could be tacked onto the final bill, endangering its ability to pass and delaying its progress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already announced that further debate will not continue this week and no further votes will be held until the Senate settles the amendment debate.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer