Congress Begins Lame Duck Session

With the 2012 election over, Congress is returning to Washington to serve out the end of its current session. Given that Congress has a long list of pressing concerns, some farm lobbyists are worried that there may not be enough time left in the year to pass a new farm bill.

With congressional leaders delaying the farm bill until after the 2012 election, farmers have only a small window of time available for the passage of a new farm bill. Some farm leaders are hopeful that a new bill can be passed (Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, for example, has expressed optimism that a new bill can be passed before 2013).

Despite this optimism, however, congressional leaders are sending very mixed messages. Senator Debbie Stabenow, for example, has stated that passing a new farm bill would help ease partisan tensions and would “create the trust and momentum we need to overcome gridlock and solve the challenges our country faces,” and has repeatedly stated that her main concerns is passing a new five-year bill.

 Representative Frank Lucas, the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, promised that GOP leadership was committed to passing a new farm bill, but maintained that there was not a set schedule for a floor vote. Ranking member of the Ag Committee Collin Peterson called for a floor vote and vocally opposed a temporary extension of the farm bill, dashing some farmers’ hope for a temporary compromise.

Without firm congressional leadership, farmers are uncertain that a new farm bill will be passed. While farm advocacy groups insist that a farm bill in necessary, they are becoming increasingly pessimistic that a compromise will be reached before 2013.

To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting

Follow us on: Twitter

Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer