Although there have been informal discussions between the leadership of the Senate and House agriculture committees, there continues to be an impasse as how best to proceed. At this point, it appears as though the farm bill in the House will have to be a Republican-passed bill.
Significant policy differences remain between the Senate bill and the version passed by the House Agriculture Committee but no further progress can really be made on the bill until the House Republican leadership decides if they want to bring a bill to the floor – as well as what kind of bill they want the chamber to consider.
The biggest question for the agriculture sector is what process will be used. Will the farm bill be considered as a stand-alone measure or tied to another piece of legislation? There will be even less clarity if the new farm bill isn’t passed prior to the September 30, 2012 expiration of the current legislation and is pushed into a lame-duck congress or next year.
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