National Editor Tom KarstPerhaps the "fiscal cliff" wasn't graphic enough, didn't quite capture the needed sense of urgency. It should have been the "end of the world." Oh yeah, that's already in common circulation.
Perhaps lawmakers are waiting to see if the Mayan calendar is truly prophetic. After all, if the world does ends on Dec. 21, what is the point of putting in all the heavy lifting to pull off a "fiscal cliff" compromise?
The latest reports indicates the farm bill is at risk, whether or not the negotiations on the fiscal cliff succeed. This coverage from Politico says there is little desire by Republican leaders to fit in the farm bill. From Politico:
“We can’t drop a farm bill in the middle of whatever is negotiated. A 1,000-page bill on top of whatever is negotiated will just make our vote situation harder,” a Boehner aide told POLITICO. “If we can agree on a top-line number, we suspect the committees will have a much easier time getting to a bill next year under regular order.”
What's next for the farm bill? One scenario is that a deficit deal will include the agriculture committees in a mission to complete a deficit reduction and tax reform package by next summer, sources told Politico.
So a one-year farm bill extension will have to be crafted before the end of this year to prevent crazy dairy prices, and then work will start anew next year on a five-year farm bill.
All the work that had been put in on the 2012 farm bill has gone for naught, a shameful waste of energy and human resources. But it is not the end of the world, er, we hope.