A temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown this month is looking more like the legislative vehicle to extend the already expired farm bill, but one Ag Senator says farmers shouldn’t look for any extra help. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley says an extension is coming; “If the continuing resolution takes us into next year or into December, I guess you’re going to have to have the extension on this continuing resolution.”
Given it’s unlikely 12 appropriations bills will be passed by then. But still in question is the length of any farm bill extension—some have proposed 18-months to get the farm bill out of this Congress. Not Grassley though, who says, “I think that it won’t be 18-months, because that goes beyond the tenure of Chairman Stabenow and I’m sure she’s going to want a farm bill left, passed, before she leaves Congress.”
Grassley’s predicted a one-year extension, but adds it won’t likely include interim relief to fix outdated price supports and triggers. He says, “Whether it’s the farm bill or higher education or anything else that needs to be extended in a continuing resolution, it’s pretty darn hard to get any changes made. I’m not arguing with the fact that they need more, but if you start making changes, I don’t know where you’d stop.”
Others including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have suggested there could be adjustments. And still others, including the American Farm Bureau argue it’s past time for lawmakers to ‘do their job’ and pass a farm bill.