What Is the 'Farm Bill'? [Updated May 16, 2008]   [open pdf - 77KB]

This CRS report provides an overview of a very important piece of legislation which "governs federal and food policy"--the Farm Bill. It is a key agricultural bill which is "renewed every five years.[...] The most recent omnibus bill is the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171), covering a wide range of programs, including commodity price and income support, farm credit, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others. In 2007, both the House and Senate completed committee and floor action on their respective versions of the new farm bill, which is intended to replace current law. Many provisions of the 2002 farm bill expired in September 2007, but were extended under a series of temporary extensions to allow more time to resolve differences between the House- and Senate-passed bills. On May 14, 2008, the House passed the conference agreement on the 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419, The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), by a vote of 318-106. The next day, the Senate passed the same bill by a vote of 81-15. The Administration has announced it will veto the legislation; however, the farm bill conferees are confident they have enough support for the conference bill to override a possible veto. Concurrently, on May 14, both the House and Senate passed H.R. 6051, which continues the temporary extension of current law until the earlier of May 23, 2008, or until the 2008 farm bill, H.R. 2419, is enacted."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS22131
Public Domain
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