If history is a guide, there’s little chance Congress will enact a new farm bill this year. Congress hasn’t enacted a farm bill in the same year it was first introduced since 1990, which is what lawmakers are trying to do this year.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway hopes to finally get his farm bill to the Senate this week, but the outcome hinges on House Republican leaders going forward with plans to debate a pair of competing immigration measures.
The Senate farm bill offers changes to crop insurance that could benefit the largest as well as the smallest farms while also clearing the way for research that could lead to premium discounts for conservation practices.
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee this week will seek to get a strong bipartisan vote for their farm bill draft from the panel, giving the measure momentum as it heads to the Senate floor in the following days.
The Senate Agriculture Committee’s draft farm bill would make additional improvements for dairy producers and the Agriculture Risk Coverage program while expanding the Conservation Reserve Program and renewing a research foundation and other popular programs that are slated to run out of money when the current farm bill expires.
The Republican chairman and the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee hope to release a draft of their farm bill this week, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promises to move it quickly to the floor.
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee are rushing to finalize agreement on a bipartisan farm bill with an eye toward getting it out of the chamber this month to set the stage for negotiations with their House counterparts.