The House and Senate left town late last week without agreeing on a Farm Bill package. The Farm Bill reauthorizes key commodity and food nutrition programs that impact the baking industry, such as the sugar program, conservation reserve program, and the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP). To learn more about the Farm Bill and its impact on the baking industry, click here.
If Congress does not pass some form of a Farm Bill before September 30, agricultural policy will revert back to the 1949 Farm Act, a result that Congress will not allow to happen. Instead, the House and Senate have a few options in play before the start of the 114th Congress next January. Options include:
- Passing a short term (two month) extension, forcing a lame duck Congress to possibly pass the Farm Bill
- Passing a multi-month extension (possibly up to one year), pushing the Farm Bill debate into spring or summer 2013
- Passing the full five-year Farm Bill
Passing a five year Farm Bill seems highly unlikely before September 30. Many members do not want to debate the Farm Bill this close to the November election, nor pass a bill that spends almost a trillion dollars over the next ten years.
ABA will continue to meet with members of Congress during the August recess to ensure that bakers’ concerns are addressed in regards to the impact of Farm Bill policies on the industry.
In addition, this will be a key topic discussed during the ABA Commodity and Agricultural Policy Conference on October 2-3 in Washington, D.C. For more information on this conference, click here.