Farm Bill Set to Expire as House Leadership Cancels All Legislative Activity Until November
With the House of Representatives headed home until after the November midterm elections, the Farm Bill is set to expire on Sunday, September 30th.
In June, the House passed a Farm Bill along purely partisan lines. Many Democrats referenced the bill’s elimination of free school lunch programs from 265,000 households while taking food assistance away from one million households as the reason for their lack of support. The bill also zeroes out Farm Bill funding for Rural Development and Conservation programs.
The Senate version of the Farm Bill did not include these controversial provisions and passed with broad bipartisan support. The Farm Bill Conference Committee, made up of a select group of House and Senate members, was assigned to merge the House and Senate versions of the bill into a final version.
Democratic Representative, and member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Cheri Bustos held her Republican colleagues accountable for the lapse, saying, “The expiration of the Farm Bill will lead to a lapse in funding for critical safety net programs for family farmers that (are) already grappling with plummeting commodity prices and the impacts of Trump’s Trade reckless war. I have urged my Republican colleagues to keep the House in session until we can reach a bipartisan agreement, so yet again, hardworking families across the Heartland do not fall victim to partisan games.”
Agriculture Committee Chairmen Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and Ranking Members Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., released the following statement on progress of the 2018 Farm Bill this week.
“Each of us is still at the negotiating table, and we remain committed to working together on a Farm Bill. Our conversations are productive, and progress toward an agreement is taking shape. We are going to get this right.”