WASHINGTON, D.C. – House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders have reached an agreement on a farm bill extension as the possibility of a government shutdown looms.
The extension is part of a new stop-gap funding bill introduced by House Speaker Mike Johnson.
The four leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees released a statement emphasizing that the extension is not a substitute for passing a five-year farm bill, and they remain committed to working on a comprehensive farm bill next year.
The stopgap bill would fund some agencies (like the USDA) until January 19 and others until February 2. Johnson says it should stop supplemental funding debates and put the conference in the best position to fight for fiscal responsibility.
The farm bill extension agreement provides a temporary solution to avoid disruptions in critical agricultural programs and maintain stability for producers. While the extension is viewed as a pragmatic approach given the current political and economic landscape, the focus remains on passing a comprehensive five-year farm bill in the coming year.
But the plan has already been met with opposition from hardline Republicans and could need support from at least some Democrats to pass.
House Ag Committee member Rick Crawford of Arkansas told Brownfield Ag News finalizing a 2023 Farm Bill in the first quarter of next year is still possible.
“What we’re likely going to see is an extension through December of ‘24 and then a very aggressive pace at the beginning of the of the calendar year so that we can get a farm bill marked up in committee and get it onto the House floor as quickly as we can,” he shares.
Meanwhile, the White House Office of Management and Budget has already begun its initial communications with agencies on how to prepare for a possible government shutdown.