Congress will have to extend the life of the 2018 farm law into 2024 so it can finish work on its successor, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday. “Most people acknowledge there will be an extension,” although its duration is unclear, he said.
Without a revival of the 2018 law, which expired on Sept. 30, or enactment of a new farm bill, the government-guaranteed price of fresh milk would more than double on Jan. 1 and crop supports also would soar under the 1949 agricultural statute. Arkansas Sen. John Boozman, the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, has recommended a one-year extension.
During a teleconference, Vilsack said chances of passing the farm bill this year were declining in part due to prolonged fighting among House Republicans over who to elect as speaker. They selected Majority Whip Tom Emmer for the post on Tuesday, but he dropped out a few hours after the announcement.
Extension of the 2018 law could be added as a rider to short-term legislation, yet to be written, to keep the government open after Nov. 17, when stopgap funding runs out.