Farm Bill expires; Wisconsin senators expect decisions soon

WASHINGTON (WBAY) - Congressional lawmakers missed the deadline to renew the Farm Bill, and Wisconsin's US senators are speaking out on the future of the bill.

The Farm Bill has a large impact on farmers, how our food is grown, and what kinds of food are grown. It also covers a number of programs, including insurance for farmers and access to healthy food for families in need.

The House and Senate each passed their own version of the Farm Bill in June and have been trying to reconcile about $50 billion in differences ever since. Differences include how to divide farm subsidies, amounts to cut from conservation funding, and whether to have work requirements for the SNAP food program.

"Leader McConnell is saying failure is not an option for the Farm Bill, so I'm not on that committee, I'm not involved in those negotiations, but I know Republicans are working diligently to get that one across the finish line as well," Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said.

"Our farmers need markets, not trade wars," Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin said, "and therefore, I think there's an urgency in passing the Farm Bill and having those negotiators from the House and Senate continue to work very hard on this."

The 2014 Farm Bill expired at the end of September.

The US Secretary of Agriculture says farmers will continue to operate as normal, and he hopes to get a reconciled bill by the end of the year.

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