WASHINGTON, D.C.,  Dec. 28 – Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, member and former chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, confirmed today that there will no further congressional action on the 2012 farm bill this year, nor will there be movement on a tentative one-year extension or on expiring dairy provisions. 

“I don’t think so,” Harkin said about congressional passage of a farm bill before a new Congress begins.  “[The committee] is in a heck of a fix.”

Harkin noted that the House is in recess until Dec. 30, and that House leadership has refused to take up the Senate-passed bill.

He said negotiators discussed the option of a straight one-year extension.

“But you don’t get a [unanimous consent agreement] for that in the Senate,” Harkin said. “People here will object.”

Separately, committee member Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., urged the House to “bring the Senate farm bill up for a vote immediately.”

“Our rural economy will take a big hit if the House fails to pass a farm bill,” Baucus said on the Senate floor today. “There is absolutely no excuse for inaction. Our farmers and ranchers break their backs to put food on the table every day.”


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