Farm Bill extension in-the-works

Published online: Dec 28, 2012

Reports are the House and Senate Ag Committee leadership is working on a farm bill extension with hope they can get it through Congress on Monday.

Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says it would be a short-term extension, POLITICO reports no more than nine months, The Hill is reporting a one-year extension. As many as 37 provisions of the old farm bill would be extended including crop subsidies targeted for elimination. Stabenow says the new farm bill would be in effect before any of the subsidies would have to be paid out.

Perhaps the biggest driver behind getting some sort of farm bill in place before the first of the year is what is being called the "milk cliff" where the price of milk will more than double if nothing is done. Senator Stabenow says they will not extend the old dairy policy but instead include the new Dairy Security Act. "It doesn't make sense to extend a dairy policy that doesn't work," says Stabenow. That could cost some votes as there is opposition to the supply management provision included in the new plan.

If the extension comes up for a vote by Monday under an expedited process, a two-thirds majority would be required to pass it.