It’s crunch time for the farm bill and the House GOP leader’s schedule for the last week the House is in session this year suggests all options are open – including some kind of farm bill extension. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s weekly schedule includes late in the week possible consideration of legislation related to H.R. 2642 – the House farm bill. That could be either a last-minute House-Senate farm bill deal – or a short-term extension of the expired 2008 law. But two things are clear. First – no one knows for sure what will happen – and secondly – Cantor has left his options wide open.
Speaker John Boehner said Friday he’s prepared to move a one-month extension of the expired law . House Ag Ranking Member Colin Peterson says Farm Bill negotiators are close to a deal but a full floor vote before Friday. He did say that the negotiators have agreed on a cut to the SNAP program, although he declined to name the number.
Congressional budget negotiators also have until Friday to finish their work for the year – and they are reportedly closing in on a proposal for next year. But according to sources- the deal would not include any significant tax or entitlement reforms – nor would it seriously deal with the sequester cuts. Aides have said the emerging plan would raise agency spending to just over a trillion dollars for the next two fiscal years – aiming to offset spending by cutting federal worker pensions and with other modest changes. The deal would do nothing to trim the debt. It’s reported the negotiators hope to finish the bill in a matter of days and take it straight to the House and Senate floors – rather than taking it to the conference committee. Lawmakers have until January 15th to pass a budget bill.Share