The lack of a budget deal so far to keep the government open, is frustrating efforts to write a new farm bill–and its would-be authors. Farm bills are never easy to write, and some have taken a couple of years or more to enact. And, this is an election year—never an easy time to do any legislating. But, the ongoing budget crisis, complicated by immigration and border wall disputes, is making farm bill efforts now, even harder.
Longtime Ag Senator Chuck Grassley was asked how you write a farm bill with no budget certainty, especially if current funding is simply extended another few weeks.
Grassley said in December a farm bill was already three months late due to work on the tax bill, and a new farm bill needed to be done in the first half of this year, so producers could plan for the 2019 crop year.
Grassley said at the time, “we can’t horse around any longer.” He continued that theme this week.
Still, that won’t be easy without accurate numbers.
House lawmakers had planned to start formal drafting of a farm bill late this month or in early February. But the top House Ag Democrat suggested in December, some Senate Democrats might want to drag their feet, hoping for a majority next year.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.