Congress quietly allowed the Farm Bill to expire over the weekend despite House Republicans’ hopes they would come to a consensus and pass a reauthorization ahead of the September 30 deadline.
The expiration was blamed on discrepancies between the House and the Senate, as well as the parties over key provisions, including most prominently over a House provision to attach work requirements to the food stamp benefits in the current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Democrats blasted the welfare reform language, arguing the Senate-passed version did not include the changes, while saying the requirements could be detrimental to the safety net relied upon by low-income earners — a criticism Republicans have rebuffed.
While there was talk of a short-term extension, a stop-gap measure ultimately was not brought to the floor before the lower chamber recessed ahead of the midterm elections.
A number of top negotiators — including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D- Mich.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) — have argued Congress’ real deadline isn’t until December as the majority of baseline programs remain funded until later this year.
Read more in The Hill.