House ag leaders press for farm bill approval
House Republican leaders refused to call a vote on the bill during the summer, saying there was not a majority for it, according to Reuters. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R- Va., has indicated he will bring the House version to the floor during the lame duck session.
The Senate and House versions will eventually have to be reconciled before a final draft could be sent for a signature by President Obama.
Many observers agree that the lame duck session will not have time to address the farm bill. "Odds are against a five-year farm bill in the lame duck (session) unless it's part of a budget agreement," and a budget deal is also unlikely, said Pat Westhoff of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research, an ag think tank based at the University of Missouri.
Barry Flinchbaugh, Kansas State University agricultural economist, said he does not expect a new farm bill until April. The final version probably will look like the Senate bill, Flinchbaugh told a bankers' meeting in Milwaukee this week.