By: Gina Luke, assistant director, Governmental Relations Division
On Jan. 22, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Jan. 22 introduced legislation (S. 10) to reauthorize the farm bill for five years through 2018. Nineteen senators, including Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and nearly every democratic member on that committee, cosponsored the bill. The legislation did not list any Republican cosponsors.
Although the text of the bill is not yet available, it is expected to mirror the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240), which the Senate passed on June 21, 2012. That legislation cut farm bill spending by nearly $24 billion, compared to a similar version of the bill that circulated in the U.S. House that cut more than $35 billion in spending.
The U.S. House never voted on either version of the farm bill last Congress and has not yet indicated its plans to introduce similar legislation this year.
With the extension of the farm bill that occurred at the end of last year, Congress has until Sept. 30 to pass a new, comprehensive, five-year bill this year.