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Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
Topic - Frank D. Lucas
Though negotiators say they are getting close on a farm bill deal, the two parties still have their differences on how to handle a short-term extension.
Washington is once again hurtling toward a budget crisis, but you couldn't tell from the travel itineraries of members of Congress.
The House rejected the massive farm bill Thursday after conservative Republicans banded with Democrats, dealing a major defeat to House Speaker John A. Boehner and the GOP leadership and raising questions about the chamber's ability to pass any ambitious legislation this year.
While congressional leaders have reached a deal to avoid milk prices from skyrocketing in the coming weeks, the proposal was in limbo Tuesday as it was piggybacked onto the stalled measure intended to avoid the nation falling off the "fiscal cliff."
The five-year farm bill, which cleared the Senate last week, could be headed for rough waters in the House with Republicans complaining that the upper chamber's bill favors Midwesterners' crops over Southerners' produce and saying a final compromise will need to have deeper cuts to the food-stamp and crop-insurance programs.
Promoting farm subsidies was once a no-brainer for rural members of Congress seeking re-election. This year, it's a bit trickier.
"All I can say is it's sort of like a cook, you know when it's done," Mr. Lucas said. "It's an art, not a science."
Just minutes later, however, Mr. Lucas said he planned to file a one-month extension on the House floor Tuesday night.