House Has No Date for Farm Bill

After derailing the 2012 Farm Bill process and despite pressure from the Senate and a variety of farm advocacy groups, the House of Representatives has no plans for passing a new farm bill and has set no date for the start of the new farm bill process.

Despite months of debate last year and despite major gains in the Senate and in the House Agriculture Committee, both passed a version of the farm bill last summer, election year politics prevented the bill from reaching the floor of the House, which refused to allow a vote.

With Congress passing a nine-month extension of the expired farm bill, Senate agriculture leaders and farm advocacy groups are pressuring the House to pass a new five-year farm bill. Despite this pressure, however, the House appears reluctant to take definitive steps to pass a new bill.

“There is no starting date at this point,” said Representative Frank Lucas, chair of the House Agriculture Committee. “I wish I could say there was but there are so many pieces in place, so much that needs to be sorted out, so many issues that need to be addressed. When the time is right we go. And sooner is better than later.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer