The Washington Times reports that a farm bill may be the secret weapon when it comes to averting the fiscal cliff. The publication notes that a five-year, $500 billion farm bill, approved by the Senate in June with bipartisan support, would trim at least $23 billion in agricultural subsidies, land conservation spending and other programs over the next decade, when compared with the most recent farm bill that expired at the end of September. This proposed bill has been rejected by House Republicans.
Passing a bipartisan farm bill could be a trust-building move that could be the first step to overcoming gridlock, says Rep. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI.
Rep. Collin Peterson, D-MN, says it is possible that the farm bill could be folded into a fiscal cliff bill of some type. However, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, has said he would expect the farm bill to be a stand-alone bill.