Farm Bill as Hostage?

Some Democrats have a plan to keep the farm bill from moving forward until they get an extension for unemployment benefits.

Published on: Dec 17, 2013

It sounds simple, one bill won't pass until another one does. It's a kind of Washington give-and-take that may get things done. Yet the idea is that some Democrats think they can pressure Republicans into supporting an extension of unemployment benefits, simply by holding up the farm bill.

According to a report in the Washington Post late last week, the ideas is that those working on the new budget compromise would be forced to include the unemployment payment extension if they can't get a farm bill.

The aim is to take any savings found in the farm bill to support extension of worker benefits in the wake of sweeping cuts. The driver behind the idea - and there's little indication the idea will work - is Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. He sees $15 billion in savings in the potential new farm bill, and that would offset the extra cost of extending unemployment benefits.

HOSTAGE: Democrats fighting the farm bill have another approach.
HOSTAGE: Democrats fighting the farm bill have another approach.

Check out the Washington Post report.

The House has already passed a farm bill extension to keep negotiations going until Jan. 31 and avoid allowing the permanent provisions of the farm bill from going into effect. Sticking points include the cost of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program spending, where the House and Senate differ widely.

This is an ongoing situation, stay with to keep up on key informations.