Congress Reaches Farm Bill Deal

After weeks of negotiations and failed deals, Congress appears on the verge of reaching a compromise on a temporary extension of the expired farm bill.

For the past several months, the farm bill has been stuck in legal limbo. During the summer, the Senate passed a five-year farm bill and the House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the farm bill. Both bills have been held up by the leadership of the House of Representatives, which has so far refused to hold a floor vote.

While agricultural leaders had pushed for a five-year farm bill rather than a temporary extension of the expired bill, the end of the 2012 legislative session and the seeming failure of Congress to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff has pushed rural politicians to abandon their hopes for a five-year bill.

While for the most part, the extension bill renews the expired farm bill for a year, it would also incorporate several dairy price reforms contained in both the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee farm bills.

While both houses ag committees have reached an agreement, it’s not clear what the fate of the extension bill will be in the House, where Speaker John Boehner has refused to say what position he will take.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer