President Biden has signed a funding bill that extends the 2018 Farm Invoice for an additional 12 months.
The funding decision acquired bipartisan assist, passing the Home in a 336-95 name and the Senate 87-11. It permits for some respiratory room for lawmakers to put in writing a brand new farm invoice, though farm teams and advocates urge legislators to not take too lengthy.
Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union, mentioned in an announcement that whereas the NFU is inspired by the assist for the extension, it’s going to now “urge Congress to channel that success towards getting a brand new farm invoice carried out in a well timed style. Household farmers and ranchers will need to have readability in regards to the standing of farm applications to make knowledgeable planting and enterprise selections heading into the subsequent rising season,” and the present extension solely gives that readability within the brief time period.
President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Zippy Duvall, echoes that assertion, asking the Home and Senate to “keep centered” on creating a brand new, fashionable Farm Invoice. “The present invoice was written earlier than the pandemic [started], earlier than inflation spiked and earlier than international unrest despatched shock waves via the meals system. We want applications that mirror right now’s realities,” says Duvall. “Whereas an extension is critical, they’re working out of time to put in writing a brand new invoice.”
The leaders of each House and Senate agricultural committees appear to know these fears, issuing a joint assertion reaffirming their dedication to a brand new piece of laws. “As negotiations on funding the federal government progress, we had been in a position to come collectively to keep away from a lapse in funding for important agricultural applications and supply certainty to producers. This extension is by no means an alternative choice to passing a five-year Farm Invoice and we stay dedicated to working collectively to get it carried out subsequent 12 months.”
Discussions and negotiations on the brand new Farm Invoice have been stymied by opposing views on points akin to crop subsidies and funding for assist applications akin to the Supplemental Vitamin Help Program (SNAP), which makes up round 80 percent of the invoice’s spending. Republicans have pushed for more work requirements and stricter limits on SNAP accessibility, whereas Democrats have opposed the concepts.
The funding extension additionally avoids a few of the risks of letting key funding lapse on the finish of the 12 months, together with what’s referred to as the “dairy cliff.” Within the Nineteen Forties, everlasting legal guidelines had been created to ascertain security nets for sure commodities deemed important, together with milk. The federal government was directed to purchase dairy at inflated costs to assist farm manufacturing. That regulation will get suspended with every Farm Invoice, and with no new Farm Invoice, there are fears that prices for dairy might shoot up dramatically.