Farm Bill Conference Unlikely Before August Recess

A group of House Members aiming to find a compromise on a nutrition bill before a farm bill conference has met twice, but with time short, it appears unlikely movement toward formal negotiations on a bill will start before August recess.

The House GOP plan is to move a nutrition bill before going to conference with the Senate, which is ready to appoint conferees. After the nutrition working group’s latest meeting Wednesday, however, it is clear such a bill is unlikely until September.

With only nine legislative days in September, and many other items on the docket, the delay has many lawmakers and agriculture groups concerned about getting a five-year farm bill done before the current extension expires on September 30.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) said this week that an extension would be his least favorite option, but that lawmakers are heading in that direction.

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