A stopgap spending bill released by House Republicans on Saturday includes a one-year extension of the 2018 farm bill and funding for some relatively small programs that expired on Sept. 30.

The extension provisions reflect an agreement reached between all four House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

The extension would ensure that commodity subsidy and marketing loan programs, including Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage and Dairy Margin Coverage, continue in effect for the 2024 crop years.

The extension also includes a fresh infusion of $37 million for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, which has received one-time tranches of funding in the 2014 and 2018 farm bills. Other expired programs that would receive new funding for 2024 include USDA's feral swine eradication program, which would get $15 million.

House Agriculture Republicans said in a post on X that the stopgap bill "includes a fiscally responsible extension of the #FarmBill that provides certainty to America’s farmers and producers and our food supply. Our work continues on a five year extension of the Farm Bill."

The 32-page continuing resolution that includes the farm bill provisions is intended to keep the government from shutting down after Friday, when a stopgap bill that has been funding the government since Oct. 1 expires. The CR is certain to face resistance from Democrats in the House and Senate because of its “laddered” new deadlines for government funding.

But because the farm bill provisions reflect a bipartisan deal among Ag Committee leaders, the details are likely to be included in any final stopgap measure.

Congress must pass an extension of the 2018 farm bill by early 2024 to avoid triggering laws dating back to 1938 and 1949, forcing USDA to take steps next year to dramatically raise the price of milk, wheat and other commodities. 

The 1938 and 1949 provisions are collectively known as “permanent law” and have been left on the books to ensure Congress either passes a new farm bill or extends the expiring legislation.

Crop insurance is permanently authorized and doesn't need a new farm bill. Most major conservation programs were extended through 2031 under the Inflation Reduction Act. 

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To offset the cost of the new funding for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and other expired programs, the bill would rescind $177.4 million from the unobligated balance in USDA's Section 9003 biorefinery assistance program. 

The House GOP's CR would set two new deadlines for Congress to keep the government funded for fiscal 2024.

Departments and agencies covered by the FY24 Agriculture, Energy-Water, Transportation-HUD and Military Construction measures would be funded through Jan. 19.

The Agriculture bill provides annual appropriations for USDA, FDA and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Energy-Water bill funds operations of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Departments and agencies covered by the other eight annual appropriations bills would be funded under the CR through Feb. 2.

For USDA, the annual appropriations bills largely affect programs that don't receive mandatory funding through the farm bill, including agency operations, most agriculture research outside of FFAR, international food aid, and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance program.

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