For those counting Monday, November 26 marks 138 days, over one-third of the entire year, since the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture adopted (35-11) the 2012 Farm Bill (H.R. 6083) the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, on July 12.
And, according to the recently released U.S. House floor schedule by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) for the week of November 26, there is still no vote scheduled in the U.S. House of Representatives on the 2012 Farm Bill.
At least three weeks remain until the anticipated December 14 adjournment of the 112th Congress and their year-end lame duck session. That means U.S. House leaders have essentially allowed the clock to run out on the 2012 Farm Bill, especially given the time that will be needed by negotiators to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions (Title I Commodities and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs).
Many pundits have espoused multiple scenarios that could happen with the Farm Bill. Since there have been no negotiations between House and Senate agriculture leaders, at this point there is only two remaining options:
- The Farm Bill is extended in a larger legislative package but with instructions to the Agriculture Committees to use the (likely lower) March 2013 CBO baseline to develop policies, or
- The Farm Bill, with its savings of between $23 and $35 billion will be used as a budget offset in a larger legislative package.
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