The U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the 2012 Farm Bill before starting their August recess. With the bill expiring in September, will Congress have time to pass the important bill when they return?
Dairy cows feed on a farm in Chilton, Wis., in May. The farm bill being considered by Congress, part of a massive package that could cost nearly $1 trillion over a decade, contains a number of provisions affecting dairies.
Credit Carrie Antlfinger / AP
If you think only farmers care about the farm bill currently being considered by Congress, you're very, very mistaken.
The measure will not only set policy and spending for the nation's farms for years to come, but it will also affect dozens of other seemingly unrelated programs — all at a cost of nearly $1 trillion over the next decade. Following are a few questions and answers about the massive legislation:
Why is it called the farm bill, and where did it come from?
The latest proposal for the farm bill — the law governing everything from food stamps to rural development grants — is being considered by the U.S. Senate this week. It's designed to save more than $23 billion over the next 10 years, in part by getting rid of direct payments to farmers. The direct payment program alone costs taxpayers $5 billion per year.