The 2008 Farm Bill is set to expire on Sunday with no replacement legislation. Congress recessed last weekend until after the November elections, leaving an anticipated lame duck session as the next possible time for work on a five-year farm bill.
However, what comes out of that work period will depend heavily on election results.
If a full farm bill reauthorization is not completed before the end of the year, legislators could be faced with dramatically fewer dollars in the bill’s baseline, which will be updated in January and again in March.
The only other farm bill to be enacted in a lame duck session was the 1990 bill, and it is unprecedented for a farm bill to be reintroduced in a new Congress after failing to achieve passage in a previous Congress.
Farm groups say they will continue to work with Members of Congress and stakeholder organizations towards passage of a five-year, comprehensive bill before the end of the Congressional session.