In a surprise defeat for GOP leaders, the House on Thursday rejected a massive farm bill.
What this means is that the House essentially voted to maintain the current food stamp policy and direct payments to farmers (some who live in Manhattan and simply own land in rural farm areas in the Midwest). It means no changes to the dairy program — and this means that dairy prices could spike come fall if they don’t find a fix.
They are currently operating on an emergency extension from last year on part of the farm bill.
“Farm bills” are five-year enterprises. They don’t do one every year. All this does is replace an older farm law that dates back to the late 1940s.
The last time the House approved a farm bill was in 2008. They were supposed to re-up last year — but could never find the votes — and thus, never even brought a measure to the floor. A partial reauthorization of the existing farm programs came in the fiscal cliff deal, finally okayed on New Year’s Day.