Posted August 22, 2013
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), member of the House Agriculture Committee, says that Congress will pass a farm bill “in the coming months” according to an article by the Argus Leader, available here. According to the article, Noem indicated that:
“My leadership team has told me that it’s going to happen, because I’ve been pretty ugly with them at different times.” She continued, “So I’m taking them at their word that they’re going to make sure it gets scheduled and they’re going to make sure we’ve got the votes.”
The farm bill continues to be a contentious issue in Congress over issues including the nutrition title, farm program payments, and even a catfish inspection program. For more background on these issues past posts on this blog are available here, here, and here.
The Senate has had success passing a farm bill, but the road to success has been far more challenging in the House. In 2012, the House Agriculture Committee passed a farm bill, but it was never brought up for a vote in the House. The 2012 outcome illustrates the deep divisions on certain issues, which is on only display when the House initially failed to pass a farm bill earlier this year. Later, the House split the nutrition title from the farm bill that paved a possible path forward for getting a competing bill that could be conferenced with the Senate. Notably, the House-passed bill would also repeal the 1938 and 1949 permanent laws that have been the backstop to getting previous farm bills across the legislative finish line. Indications have been that the House will bring up a nutrition-only bill in September, following the August recess, that would cut nutrition programs by about $40 billion. That said, significant doubts have been expressed about the political viability of that approach.
Noem says that the nutrition title “should pass the House when it returns in September, setting up negotiations with the Senate to reach a compromise.” Noem also predicts that a compromise will pass both the House and the Senate. Noem stated that Congress would “meet somewhere in between.”
For more information on farm bills please visit the National Agriculture Law Center’s Farm Bills page. Another excellent resource for daily updates on the farm bill is Farmpolicy.com, available here.