Pressure on farm bill conferees

Published online: Nov 13, 2013
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If a new farm bill is not in place by the end of the year, farm programs will revert to 1949 permanent law.

University of Nebraska Extension policy specialist Brad Lubben says that should provide plenty of incentive for farm bill conferees to get their work done. But Lubben says there is another big reason for conferees to finalize the farm bill as soon as possible.

"If they don't get the job done, does that spending question about ag fall to the budget committee, which is also meeting in conference to resolve a budget for the first time in several years," Lubben asks.

"Who really controls the debate," Lubben continues. "Well, if ag can get their job done as they have promised-and there are expectations of having their conference report done before Thanksgiving-then they can beat the debate and carry the argument."

The top Democrat on the House Ag Committee has expressed similar concerns. Collin Peterson warns that if that if Republicans on that special budget committee gets their hands on the farm bill, they will simply slash farm spending across the board.