WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday, Nov. 15, passed a U.S. House continuing resolution to extend the
until Sept. 30, 2024.
The extension was tied to short-term federal funding and passed the Senate on Wednesday night 87-11. The resolution now goes to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it.
The measure gives some breathing room to legislators working on a new farm bill. The 2018 bill had expired on Sept. 30, but some vital parts were slated to expire on Dec. 31.
While the extension resets the clock to next September, ag committee leaders from both chambers and both sides of the aisle indicated they remain focused on getting a bill done.
“As negotiations on funding the government progress, we were able to come together to avoid a lapse in funding for critical agricultural programs and provide certainty to producers. This extension is in no way a substitute for passing a 5-year Farm Bill and we remain committed to working together to get it done next year,” said a joint statement from Senate Ag Chair Deb Stabenow, D-Michigan, House Ag Chair Glenn Thompson, R-Pennsylvania, Senate Ag Ranking Member John Boozman, R-Arkansas, and House Ag Ranking Member David Scott, D-Georgia.
Farm group leaders issued statements expressing similar sentiments.
“NFU is encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for an extension of the 2018 Farm Bill. Now we urge Congress to channel that success toward getting a new farm bill done in a timely fashion. Family farmers and ranchers must have clarity about the status of farm programs to make informed planting and business decisions heading into the next growing season, and an extension accomplishes that in the short term,” said National Farmers Union President Rob Larew in a statement. “We will continue working to craft and pass a five-year farm bill that provides strong support for family farmers, ranchers, and our communities.”
North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne concurred with that in a separate statement.
“NDFU appreciates Congress’ work to pass an extension of the current farm bill. But our elected leaders need to get serious about the work of governing and draft the next farm bill. It’s important not only for farmers and ranchers, but for consumers and our nation’s food security,” he said. “Farmers need certainty in a farm bill. We will continue to advocate for a strong, bipartisan bill that strengthens the farm safety net, improves disaster programs, and establishes farmer-friendly conservation provisions.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall expressed his organization gratitude for the Congress passing the extension and avoiding “serious program disruptions.” He said they urge the president to sign it while also urging further work from the House and Senate on a “modernized” bill to address current issues.
“The current farm bill was written before the pandemic, before inflation spiked, and before global unrest sent shock waves through the food system. We need programs that reflect today’s realities. So much work has been done by the agriculture committees in both the House and Senate over the past 18 months to prepare to craft a smart and effective farm bill. Congress must keep that momentum going,” he said in a statement. “While an extension is necessary, they’re running out of time to write a new bill. We need a new farm bill in early 2024. The farm bill affects every American by helping to ensure a safe, stable and affordable food supply. Let’s make sure we get it right in 2024.”
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