Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) now expects the 2018 Farm Bill will have to be extended for one year. The spending bill chaos in the House and an earlier debt limit deal that put a straitjacket on farm bill funding led Senator Grassley to one conclusion; “As time flies by, I think we’re going to have a one-year extension, and hopefully, not a two-year extension.”
But Grassley cautions even if Congress passed a farm bill this year, any new help for farmers wouldn’t make up for next year’s big projected drops in crop prices. He says, “Let’s say that if we did increase the reference prices, that would help to some extent. But it’s not going to make up for a 30 percent decline in income for corn.”
Contributing to the farm bill mess is House chaos over spending, including agriculture spending. Subcommittee chair Andy Harris; “This legislation reins in some of the administration’s wasteful, out-of-control spending. For instance, it removes the Secretary’s discretionary use of the Commodity Credit Corporation to fund unauthorized, non-emergency programs, by returning statutory language to its pre-COVID language.”
Democrats accuse the GOP of making huge cuts to farm, feeding, energy, rural development, and equity programs unlikely to pass in the Senate. Sanford Bishop on Tuesday said; “It astonishes me that we are four days away from a government shutdown, yet we’re not debating a bipartisan bill to keep the government open. Instead, we’re debating an extreme messaging bill that does nothing to bring us closer to the bipartisan agreement we will need to eventually pass a full-year government spending bill.”
The Senate was working on a short-term bill to keep the government open past Saturday when funding runs out, setting up a last-minute ‘shutdown showdown’ with the House. The farm bill also expires on Saturday.