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Rick Worthington Farm Bill Frustration
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: October 04, 2018

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The House broke for its recess Friday afternoon before the House and Senate agreed on renewing the farm bill, leaving the bill to expire. House agricultural leaders pointed blame at the Senate, as it now appears that a bill may have to wait to get finalized until after this fall’s elections during the lame-duck session.

Earlier in the week, ahead of the bill's Sept. 30 expiration, the four farm bill principals released a statement confirming that they’re “still at the negotiating table,” but the tone Friday from House Republicans turned more accusatory of others allowing the bill to lapse.

Critical programs for trade, SNAP, beginning farmers, organic agriculture and others will lose funding if Congress moves forward on an extension rather than passing a five-year farm bill. Nearly 40 programs with mandatory funding of $2.8 billion over the five-year life of the bill are at risk of seeing their funding lapse or not have a baseline beyond fiscal 2018.

It is highly unlikely that Congress will return to Washington in October to finish the farm bill. Legislators will return after the Nov. 6 midterm elections to elect new leaders for the 116th Congress but won’t get around to finishing the spending bills and trying to finalize the farm bill until after Thanksgiving.

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