Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) expects an announcement soon that House and Senate Ag leaders will seek a one-year farm bill extension, though Grassley admits even one-year might not be enough.
Grassley on a House/Senate Ag leaders’ announcement said; “I think you’ll soon get an announcement that the Republican and Democrat leaders of the two committees—what we call the four corners of agriculture—are going to be announcing a one-year extension.”
But next year’s an election year, making it even harder to negotiate such intractable issues as SNAP limits that collapsed farm bill talks this year. Grassley says, “Yeah, I think it’s always tougher in an election year than not, but I don’t know whether it’s over the subjects you are saying are in debate now, it’s just generally, more difficult to get legislation passed in an election year.”
And if not next year, when?
“If it isn’t done by the last of July, you’re going to have another one-year extension, I would guess,” according to Grassley.
Grassley accurately predicted in September, the coming one-year extension. As for the notion of an irreconcilable split in the rural-urban farm and food coalition that historically provides enough farm bill votes he says “I don’t have any evidence of fracturing, yet.”
Grassley concludes any farm bill extension will likely be “clean,” without controversial riders—as will any government funding extension to avoid a shutdown at the end of next week. Grassley predicts if House-Senate talks get right down to the midnight deadline on the 17th, negotiators will reach a deal to prevent a shutdown.