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With John Boehner pulling the farm bill from the House of Representative’s legislative agenda earlier this week, it is now all but certain that Congress will not pass a new set of farm legislation until after the 2012 election.
For the past several months, Congress has been reluctant to debate the 2012 Farm Bill. While the Senate finally passed their version of the vital farm legislation in May, after months of prodding by rural lawmakers and farm advocacy groups, the House has refused to vote on this bill. Instead, they decided to create their own version of the farm bill (which the House Agriculture Committee drafted in July).
However, House leadership has been reluctant to vote on the drafted legislation, fearing reprisals from fiscal conservatives in the House. As such, Congress is preparing to adjourn in preparation for the 2012 election without passing a new bill.
The current farm bill expires in eight days.
According to Boehner, the House will “deal with the farm bill” during the lame duck congressional session at the end of the year. He declined, however, to state whether this would entail passing a new five year farm bill or merely extending the current bill for a year.
Some House Democrats are claiming that the GOP leadership has no plan for dealing with the farm bill. According to Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson, the House has no set schedule right now for its lame duck session and there are no negotiations currently underway for addressing the farm bill at the end of the year.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer