(Radio Iowa) – The current Farm Bill is set to expire on September 30th and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is starting to lose confidence that congress will pass a new before the deadline. “I was hopeful, I guess I’m still hopeful, but I do not have very high expectations that we’ll get the Farm Bill done yet. We’re running out of days,” Northey says.
Northey understands that other issues — such as the crisis in Syria — will get attention before the Farm Bill. “The Farm Bill as important as it is is probably is not going to push Syria off the calendar for the House and the Senate. So, I’m disappointed that we’re to this place, that we don’t have more progress, that we don’t had a conference committee that could pull a report together,” Northey says. “We’ve only got a couple of weeks left — which means even less than that in the number of working days left. I just don’t see the momentum that suggests that it will get done.”
A last minute deal on the farm bill would be very welcome by Secretary Northey. “I would love, love to be surprised and have it happen, but I’m not hearing the momentum, I’m not hearing the background noise that would suggest discussions happening behind the scenes that I’m aware of. I sure hope that it is,” according to Northey. “It’s gonna be tough to get that thing done in the few says that we have left in September.”
The lack of action on the Farm Bill is further complicated by the attempts to cut the funding to Obamacare in the budget bill.