Path to the 2012 Farm Bill: Major Factors Influencing the Debate

Article from NSAC

In its “Path to the 2012 Farm Bill” series, NSAC gets into the details of the 2012 Farm Bill debate.  This first post in the series discusses the major factors influencing the 2012 Farm Bill timing and process.

With the failure of the Super Committee process last fall, Agriculture Committee leaders now resume work on the 2012 Farm Bill through a more normal process that involves hearings, committee mark-ups, and a committee and floor amendment process.  The current farm bill expires on September 30, 2012, and Congress must take action on farm policy by then if it wants to avoid reverting to 1949 farm law — the fallback permanent law for the farm bill.  That action can come in the form of passing a stand-alone farm bill, attaching a farm bill proposal to another bill, or passing a short or long-term extension of current law either as a stand-alone measure or attached to something else.  Significant political, budget, and committee factors will influence that choice as well as the timing of the farm bill process this year.

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