Stabenow Opposes Farm Bill Extension

With time running out on the current farm bill, Senator Debbie Stabenow is maintaining that the House of Representatives needs to focus on passing a new farm bill rather than relying on a temporary extension.

Passed every five years, the farm bill is a regular part of the American political process. While most farm bill renewals are relatively smooth, 2012 has seen an increase in budget hysteria, which has led Congress to demand billions of dollars in spending cuts. Many of these cuts are coming from agricultural spending and the ensuing debates about the necessity and fairness of these cuts has stalled the passage of a new farm bill.

If a bill is not passed (or the current bill renewed) farmers and consumers could face an uncertain future. The last permanent farm legislation was passed in 1949. Without a new farm bill, that relic from the 40s would once again become the law of the land, significantly raising crop prices, severely limiting production, and eliminating most farm subsidies.

While passing a new bill by the end of the month may be impossible, Stabenow has stressed that many provisions of the current farm bill will last through the year, giving Congress time to agree on a new bill by November if only the House would allow debate.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer