Agricultural leaders in Congress have negotiated a one-year farm bill extension to be included in a proposed stopgap funding measure to keep the government running.
House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled a plan over the weekend to avert a partial government shutdown that included the continuation of funding for “critical agricultural programs” authorized by the farm bill, the heads of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees said in a statement Sunday.
Agriculture leaders stress a farm bill extension is necessary to avoid a lapse in funding for critical safety net programs and a reversion back to Depression-era law, which would send food prices soaring. Although the farm bill expired Sept. 30, farmers aren’t expected to feel the effects until safety net programs end on Dec. 31, 2023.
Shutdown threats in September plus a prolonged speaker election pushed out consideration of the farm bill, which governs hundreds of billions of dollars in food and agriculture spending. Leaders are hoping to approve legislation next year, but they have not provided an immediate timeline for passage.
“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,” committee leaders said in a statement on the Farm Bill extension.