With the Republican Convention taking place this week and the Democratic Convention next week, Congress will not return until the week of September 10. And, because Congress in July passed a Continuing Resolution that maintains spending at current levels, there is no must-pass legislation to be resolved prior to the end of the government’s fiscal year on September 30. With elections rapidly approaching and no deadlines looming, Congress may adjourn earlier than the projected date of October 5.
The status of the Farm Bill remains uncertain. Many agriculture commodity groups are planning a fly-in for September 12 with hopes of convincing Congress to complete the bill before they leave town. Yet, there are significant differences between the Senate and House of Representatives, and the bill remains unpopular in the House because it either cuts too little or cuts too much from government spending on nutrition programs. Although the authority for several agriculture programs will expire at the end of September, Congress has several options, including a temporary extension that will allow more time to work out the many differences that are unlikely to be resolved quickly.
Because the Farm Bill currently includes a new, controversial dairy supply management program, called Dairy Market Stabilization, IDFA remains opposed to the bill in its current form. IDFA supports efforts to have the full House of Representatives consider the bill under a process that will allow votes on the program and other important issues in the bill.
“Representatives Bob Goodlatte and David Scott have developed a bipartisan, compromise amendment that provides an effective safety net for dairy farmers without the negative impacts and added regulations caused by imposing limits on milk production," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs. “Given a fair chance, the Goodlatte-Scott approach likely will gain the support of the House of Representatives, so we remain suspicious of efforts by Farm Bill supporters to limit debate on this important legislation.”
For more information, contact Slominski at firstname.lastname@example.org.