House Speaker John Boehner may bring up an extension of current farm programs – including disaster aid funds – as early as next week. If not next week – House sources say it may be in September. Boehner – along with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor – both have publicly said they haven't made a decisiong about bringing up the farm bill – but farm leaders, Democrats and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack have stressed the need for disaster aid makes it crucial to quickly pass the farm bill. While an extension would avoid an election year battle surrounding food stamps – it would complicate reform plans.
In the meantime – House and Senate Ag Committee Leaders were set to meet last night (Tuesday) to discuss beginning conference of House and Senate bill during the August recess. However – without having a House bill advanced beyond the committee level – those efforts will be challenging.