It’s crunch time for Washington lawmakers as the deadline to pass a five-year farm bill by the end of the year quickly nears.
As one congressional aide said to The Hill, this week is “pivotal.”
Passing the farm bill at this point will likely require it to be part of the fiscal cliff deal, but first the legislative agricultural committees must hammer out their differences on two major issues facing the farm bill – food stamps and commodity subsidies. Click here to read more about the differences between the House and Senate’s farm bill versions.
Despite the limited time period, many are hopeful that the pressure to get the farm bill passed in the lame-duck session will push both sides to compromise.
“Clock is ticking. We don’t have the much time left,” one source told The Hill.
If all efforts to pass a farm bill fail, House leaders are expected to try to pass a simple extension of the 2008 Farm Bill or extend dairy and livestock programs. However, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has promised to fight a limited extension. Read more from The Hill.