With the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees and the White House still working out funding for a new farm bill, it looks like another extension of the 2002 Farm Bill is unavoidable. The current extension is set to expire Saturday, March 15.
Although general agreement has been reached that $10 billion above baseline will be spent on the new Farm Bill, there is still a lot of wrangling to do as far as how that funding will be obtained. With time slipping away to complete a new farm bill, House and Senate ag leadership has been working on several issues of the farm bill without knowing the specifics about the money that will be needed to enact the bill.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., says he wants to have a general agreement on the farm bill by midweek. Congress is recessing this Friday for Easter, so the hope is that staff can work over recess to form a final bill can be completed in the next few weeks.