Fiscal Cliff, Farm Bill Talks to Resume This Week

With the 2012 election over, congressional leaders are looking to resume budget talks this week, with many farmers hoping that they will also address the 2012 Farm Bill.

The farm bill debate has been a Gordian Knot in American politics for almost a year. During a summer marked by severe weather and a punishing, nationwide drought, Congress came tantalizingly close to passing a new set of federal farm legislation. The Senate passed a version of the farm bill that cut $23 billion in federal spending and the House Agriculture Committee passed a farm bill draft that lowered spending by $35 billion.

The bill, however, was stalled by House GOP leaders, who feared passing a spending bill in the middle of an election cycle would anger fiscal conservatives.

Now that Congress is resuming talks on the upcoming fiscal cliff, (a series of tax increases and across the board spending cuts that might go into effect if Congress can’t agree on a budget), farmers are optimistic that the farm bill, with its billions of dollars in savings, will be included in budget talks.

 Congress has until December to finish unfinished business before the current Congress adjourns until January, when new members will be sworn in.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer