You might have thought that Congress learned a lesson while cobbling together an extension deal on the 2012 Farm Bill in late December, 2012. But evidently that is not the case. Word is that the 113 th Congress already has House members saying that there’s no way they’ll take up the farm bill negotiations again.
Our IL Corn insiders in the Washington, DC, beltway had this to say: “They will likely keep the current bill but with lower spending formulas, particularly for SNAP (food assistance) and the commodity titles. If the Congress and White House can come to a debt ceiling/fiscal spending cut agree not in March, Congress could get back to regular order, but few are optimistic about a four year debt ceiling/entitlement cut deal which is being dubbed Fiscal Cliff 2. Congressional staffers are really on hold except for expected legislation on immigration and gun control to be pushed by the Administration. Both issues are considered highly difficult to resolve. It is easy to see how a debt ceiling/spending fight and the top two legislative goals of the Obama Administration could bog the 113th Congress down incur the same way Congress was bogged down in the last session.”
And an article posted yesterday evening at Roll Call Online indicated that, “Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees say finishing a five-year farm bill is their priority, but they face a more difficult budget situation this year with legislation carrying a multiyear price tag of several hundred billion dollars. The committees also face antipathy in the House and divisions among major commodity groups on changes to farm support programs. “Congress included a renewal and extension of selected farm programs in the fiscal cliff tax package. There’s already speculation that lawmakers will extend the temporary authorization past its Sept. 30 expiration.”
Don’t pack away those cell phones and speed dials to the U.S. House of Representatives switchboard just yet…it looks like there’s still work to be done on this issue. Keep an eye on www.ilcorn.org for continuing updates on this and other issues impacting Illinois corn farmers’ profitability.