It is now official that we will not have a new Farm Bill before the next one expires.
The House passed a one month extension, until January 31, 2014 of the current Farm Bill in anticipation of the upcoming recess beginning this Friday.
Senators Harry Reid and Debbie Stabenow have indicated they would not pass an extension. Apparently Representative Lucas wanted the House to pass one in case the Senate decided to do so also next week.
So, the Farm Bill will still expire on December 31, 2013 at midnight.
Agriculture Secretary indicated on Tuesday that an extension wasn’t necessary, because the USDA would need time to implement new rules. Therefore, even if the old version of the law kicks in, there will be a gap of time before it is enforced. As long as an agreement can be reached in the first few week of January, we won’t even see a difference.
Personally, I’m not holding my breath.