IFB official still hopeful for farm bill passage

With time running short, Illinois leadership will be in D.C. this week to help make final push.

By DeLoss Jahnke

A little more than a week remains in the current lame duck Congressional session, and most parties remain optimistic that a new farm bill can still be passed.

But time is running short.

Memorial services for former President George H.W. Bush understandably stalled business in Washington, D.C., last week, putting a premium on Congress’ remaining time.

“We are anticipating that this is still going to be an extremely high priority, from everything we’ve heard from Congressional leadership, to try and complete the farm bill next week,” Illinois Farm Bureau Executive Director of Governmental Affairs and Commodities Mark Gebhards said Thursday.

“The timeline is going to be short,” he continued. “Not only the paperwork and moving final details forward, but also for CBO (Congressional Budget Office) to complete the scoring on the bill. And that’s a necessary step.”

Gebhards noted a case of good timing in that IFB President Richard Guebert Jr., along with other IFB representatives, will be able to make an in-person push on the farm bill.

“We will actually be in D.C., with AFBF (American Farm Bureau Federation) resolutions process, as well as working the Hill to try to get the farm bill completed as well as other issues,” Gebhards said.

Gebhards added that an agreement to fund the government for a couple more weeks should allow more time to reach agreement on the farm bill.

“They’ve bought a little more time, but between now and Christmas, this all needs to get wrapped up,” he said. “It’s not the best way to operate a railroad, you might say, but it’s the way Congress has been doing it. And I think for the foreseeable future, probably the way we’ll keep doing it.”

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.