Farm Bill: “Permanent Law” Issues, and a Path Forward Remains Murky
Financial Times writer Stephanie Kirchgaessner reported last week that, “Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a Farm Bill along party lines on Thursday that for the first time in decades stripped the legislation of food stamps in order to win over conservatives.”
The FT article noted that, “The House bill also ended a long held provision known as ‘permanent law’ that for years had served as an incentive for lawmakers to update the farm bill every five years or risk huge hikes in commodity prices.
“‘It may have a lot of unintended consequences,’ said Kam Quarles, director of legislative affairs at McDermott Will & Emery who deals with agriculture policy.”
David Grant reported last week at the Christian Science Monitor Online that, “The House farm bill makes the 2013 law the permanent rule. As such, the subsidies and support programs in place today would continue indefinitely without future farm authorizations…[D]emocrats like Representative [Collin Peterson (D., Minn.)] believe taking away pressure on Congress will allow future farm bills to lapse even longer than the nearly two years that the current measure took to pass the House of Representatives.”