Latest on the Farm Bill

Although the House Agriculture Committee passed a Farm Bill on July 12, House leadership has created no clear path to the House floor. As an alternative, the House Rules Committee is scheduled to take up a bill at 5 p.m. today that would extend most of the 2008 Farm Bill for one year, and provide disaster aid. This proposed one-year extension would eliminate mandatory funding for all programs without a baseline, which includes organic programs. It is opposed by many farm, conservation, and rural development groups. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) has said the one-year extension drafted by House Republican leaders could come to the House floor on Wednesday. However, Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) does not believe the one-year extension has the votes to pass. This lack of support for the short-term extension may result in House leaders proposing a disaster aid-only bill and tabling efforts to pass a Farm Bill this year, or increasing their efforts to pass a five-year Farm Bill.

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