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Farm Bill Talks Delayed Until After Mid-Term Elections
USAgNet - 09/28/2018

With less than four days for Congress to pass a new farm bill before the current law expires after Sunday, top ag lawmakers now readily admit they'll likely have to finish their work after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

POLITICO reports that the timing isn't surprising, as there has been more sniping among House and Senate negotiators than there's been signs of progress over the last month. But failure to meet the Sept. 30 deadline would still be a defeat for ag leaders who said they were determined to finish a new farm bill on time and provide some needed certainty to farmers and ranchers.

Hoping for better luck in November: Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said he hopes negotiators will make enough progress to vote on a final farm bill, H.R. 2 (115), the first week after the election, Pro Ag's Helena Bottemiller Evich and Catherine Boudreau reported Wednesday night.

Waiting until the lame duck is a gamble - political leverage would shift significantly if Republicans lose the House or Senate. Some farm bill conferees are warning that waiting until November will add a whole new level of complexity to the negotiations, POLITICO reports.

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