The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


House Rules posts farm bill extension bill, CBO preliminary score revealed

The House Rules Committee late Friday posted the text of the bill to extend the 2008 farm bill for one year.

The House is scheduled to return to Washington on September 10.

The extension text (linked below) is difficult to interpret because many sections of it make small changes to language in the 2008 bill, but it appears to extend at least some of the 37 programs that have no funding authority after September 30, but with appropriated rather than mandatory funds.

It includes all the expired disaster programs except the crop disaster program known as SURE. It would repeal a desert terminal lakes program that is important to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. It does not cut the supplemental nutrition assistance program, better known as SNAP or food stamps, but it does appear to limit funding for a SNAP employment and training program.

Gene Schmidt
Gene Schmidt
As noted yesterday in a Hagstrom Report alert, the bill cuts conservation programs to pay for the disaster aid. National Association of Conservation Districts President Gene Schmidt issued a statement today opposing the cuts in conservation programs to pay for disaster aid.

“We recognize farmers need aid in this emergency drought situation; however, sacrificing the very programs that help mitigate the impacts of drought and other disasters is extremely shortsighted,” Schmidt said.

“While we can't control the weather, long-term conservation planning is our best defense in protecting and preserving our natural resource base for the future. I think everyone would agree that it's better to continue to invest in conservation now, than to be forced to pay the escalated costs of repair down the road.”

The Hagstrom Report has obtain a copy of the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary cost estimate of the extension bill. (linked below) Also provided is a link to the CBO’s latest analysis of the five-year farm bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee.