Ability to Find Dollars Might Prompt Farm Bill Action

How will Congress handle the farm bill in the lame duck session? It's a question farm policy experts on Capitol Hill answer differently. But it's the opportunity for cuts that could put the farm bill on the lame duck agenda. In that vein - one possibility is that the passage of a new farm bill will get linked to the tax increases and spending cuts that need to be made to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The farm bill approved by the Senate would cut spending by 23-billion dollars over 10 years. The House Agriculture Committee found 35-billion dollars in cuts in its version of the legislation - which was never considered by the full House. Congress will have to find billions in spending cuts or new tax revenue or both - and fast - to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases totaling 644-billion dollars that will go into effect if nothing is done.

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