National Editor Tom Karst Today and tomorrow will see a big push for action on the farm bill, but perhaps to no avail.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, will host a press conference today at 12:30 Eastern to "to discuss the need for a Farm Bill before the current one expires at the end of September."
The Farm Bill Now! coalition, which includes all the major fresh produce associations, is planning for a rally tomorrow to urge passage of the farm bill.
Even with all the heat and light on the issue, a farm bill is not likely this year, House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has told a Minnesota newspaper. House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas also doesn't see a sense of urgency among fellow lawmakers.
It is assumed the result of this inability to pass a new farm bill by the time the old farm bill expires at the end of September will be a short-term extension to the bill. But some wonder if that will even happen.
The "lame duck" session after the election may be the last-gasp chance to pass a farm bill this year.
All this speculation about what will happen to the farm bill reminds me of a quote attributed to Winston Churchill.
"A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen."
Politicians better get their scripts ready for all possible contingencies as it relates to the puzzling fate of the 2012 farm bill.