Joining the looming budget sequester cuts with seemingly no conclusion in site, is another major national issue: the farm bill, in the form of a giant piece of legislation which comes up every 5 years.
The bill has passed the Senate but is unlikely to clear the House until after election season. Instead, lawmakers are delaying action in hope of a more favorable environment after November. This is a dangerous gamble, as time ticks away, businesses remain uneasy in the face of potential cuts to subsidies and food programs, and the US continues to experience one of the most severe seasons of drought in recent history.
As Politico reports:
Never before in modern times has a farm bill reported from the House Agriculture Committee been so blocked. POLITICO looked back at 50 years of farm bills and found nothing like this. There have been long debates, often torturous negotiations with the Senate and a famous meltdown in 1995 when the House Agriculture Committee couldn’t produce a bill. But no House farm bill, once out of committee, has been kept off the floor while its deadline passes.