Farm Bill Still Possible

Congressional leaders in Washington are still holding out hope that a new five-year farm bill can be passed as Congress reconvenes for its lame duck session before the end of the 112th Congress.

For months, the farm bill has remained stalled in Washington. While the Democratically control Senate passed a version of the farm bill (one that primarily trimmed certain farm subsidies) and the Republican controlled House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the farm bill (one that significantly reduced food stamp funding), the House GOP leadership refused to take action on the bill until after the 2012 election.

With the election over, Congress has about four weeks until it adjourns for 2012. While representatives had hinted earlier this year that the farm bill might be passed in the lame duck session, some agricultural organizations are pessimistic that Congress will get to the bill in time.

House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas, however, is hinting that Speaker of the House John Boehner has pledged his support for the farm bill.

According to Lucas, “[Boehner] assured me that [the farm bill] was on their agenda and gave me the impression that it was one of the issues that will be addressed in the big picture sense…I assume he means sequestration and taxes. When the speaker answered my question, the way he acted, led me to believe—I’ll put it that way—that they are focused on the big picture and this is one of those elements. No more specifics than that.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer