The government is again about to run out of money with a shutdown cliff next week and a farm bill extension hanging in the balance. Another stopgap funding bill by the 17th would be the likely vehicle to extend the already expired farm bill.
But new House Speaker Mike Johnson told Fox News Sunday that he’ll fight for a non-traditional stopgap instead of continued level funding. He said, “What we call on Capitol Hill a ‘continuing resolution’ now, and what we’ve dealt with in years past, is that this would allow us time, and everybody understands, allow us time to continue this appropriations process. We’re committed to bringing 12 bills to the floor, as the statutory law requires Congress to do, that hasn’t been done in many years.”
And do so, Johnson has proposed, with a possible laddered approach of multiple deadlines as annual spending bills are passed, which is unlikely to win Senate support. Without a short-term deal, a farm bill extension will languish.
Top House Ag Democrat David Scott has now called for a one-year extension matching similar calls by Senate Ag leaders and resistance to more limits on SNAP. Scott says, “We stand united against any efforts to take food away from children, families, or any vulnerable American in this farm bill or any legislation.”
Republicans have dug in also. House Ag Chair Glenn Thompson said, “Let’s move from states going out of their way to keep employable individuals idle and disengaged and spend more time fostering connections with employers and education providers.”
With no time left for a new farm bill this year and a perilous fight over a routine stopgap bill and farm law extension, the next ten days will be critical in determining the direction of farm and other policies.