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Programs > Agriculture & Food: Focus on the Farm Bill > Action Timeline in Congress

Action Timeline in Congress

The current Farm Bill (2008-2012) expired on Sept. 30, 2012.
Congress did not authorize a new farm bill before this expiration, but that did not cause any immediate problems. The real effects would be felt at the beginning of 2013 and into the planting season as farmers would face great uncertainty about federal farm programs.
At the last possible moment, House and Senate leaders  worked out a simple extension of the old farm bill which dealt with some imminent problems, but left several programs unfunded until Congress resolved current appropriations and longer-term budget questions.
The current timeline for the Farm Bill is for Agriculture Committee action in both the Senate and House to come to fruition by June. This is similar to the timeline last year when the respective committees passed legislation by early summer.
The challenge remains for the full House of Representatives to take up the farm bill before their August recesss.
Assuming both the House and Senate have passed bills by that time, then a conference committee can reconcile any differences in policy and funding levels so that a final vote on a new farm bill can take place before September 30, 2013 and signed into law by the President.


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