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House Rules Committee OKs farm bill extension

12/12/2013 at 9:31 a.m.

From the American Farm Bureau Federation:

Last night, the House Rules Committee approved a bill to extend the 2008 Farm Bill until Jan. 31, 2014 by a vote of 9-3. The bill may be debated on the House floor today or tomorrow. Farm Bureau continues to push for completing the farm bill quickly and is not taking a position on the extension bill.

As we said yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has announced the House will adjourn for the year this Friday, December 13. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said his bill to extend the 2008 is necessary to ensure there are no increases in dairy prices when the dairy provisions expire December 31. The dairy provisions do not expire until December 31 even though much of the remainder of the bill expired in September.

It is important to keep in mind that there is nothing magic about a January 1 implementation date and USDA has a significant amount of flexibility in when they actually implement permanent law. Secretary Vilsack has indicated on several occasions that he did not intend to implement the permanent law provisions on January 1.

Neither Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) or Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will support such an extension, so it is highly unlikely it comes up in the Senate before they adjourn a week from Friday, December 20.

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