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Back on Hill, Congress Still Unlikely to Pass Farm Bill in Time

Sep 13, 2012

This is an excerpt from Executive Insight Briefing, produced every Thursday by the National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team.

Congress returned this week from its August recess, but one of the many unfinished pieces of business on its docket is still stalled, with time running out.

The farm bill that Congress has been crafting and haggling over for months looks unlikely to wrap up before a Sept. 30 deadline, and many agricultural leaders predict that no bill will pass before the Novemer 6 election.

“Now we’re not going to have the time to get this bill done before the election even if we get it through the House,” Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat and the ranking member on the House Committee on Agriculture, said at a rally in support of the bill on Wednesday. “If we get it through the House and into conference, we can work on this in October. And when we come back after the election we can come back ready to move this thing.”

The farm bill, which sets policy and funds food stamps, has put Speaker John Boehner in a dicey position. His conference’s right flank wants a dramatically slimmed-down bill, far smaller than the five-year, $500 billion measure passed by the Senate, which cuts farm subsidies and conservation spending. But the farm bill can also mean votes, and House members aren’t eager to bear the blame for letting down farmers in an election year.

Read the complete September 13, 2012, edition of Executive Insight Briefing.

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