The fast track to the 2012 Farm Bill has ended with a stop sign.
Rep. Frank Lucas (Okla.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a joint statement on Nov. 21 that the failure of the Joint Select Committee to reach a deal on an overall deficit reduction package also has ended the effort to produce an accelerated Farm Bill.
The co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), released a statement Nov. 21 that said the committee was unable to come to a bipartisan agreement on how to cut the deficit. That ended work on a fast-track Farm Bill.
"House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders developed a bipartisan, bicameral proposal for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that would save $23 billion," the lawmakers said.
However, because the so-called Super Committee did not produce an overall deficit reduction package, the House and Senate agriculture leaders said they have abandoned immediate work on the Farm Bill. Lucas and Stabenow did not release the legislative language of what they developed, though the Environmental Working Group published a summary at http://static.ewg.org/pdf/doc20111118113310.pdf.
The current farm bill expires at the end of September 2012.
Reprinted in part from thepacker.com