The U.S. House of Representatives passed an extension of the farm bill until the end of January to allow more time to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate versions of the farm bill, both of which were approved during the summer of 2013. The proposed bills are currently being negotiated by a conference committee.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has told the Associated Press he thinks a farm bill extension is unnecessary and the Senate will not pass a farm bill extension.
The House and Senate versions of the farm bill differ on how much to cut the nation's food stamp program and how to restructure farm subsidies. The House version of the farm bill also contains the King amendment, proposed by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. The King amendment has the potential to nullify more than 150 state laws affecting agriculture, including California's Proposition 2, which aims at ending the use of battery cages for laying hens. The Senate farm bill does not contain the King amendment.
The current farm bill is an extension of the 2008 farm bill.