Lawmakers are working over recess to find ways to fund the government before January 19th deadline

While ag lawmakers continue their focus on getting more work done on the Farm Bill, the deadline to keep the government funded is looming. All is quiet on Capitol Hill, but lawmakers are still working behind the scenes before money runs out for USDA.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says lawmakers keep the work going despite Congress being on holiday recess. The stopgap spending bill, passed in November, will expire on January 19th, and that is when the USDA, as well as the FDA, would run out of money.

Senate leaders say negotiations are still ongoing but getting the two chambers to agree could prove difficult. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says government spending is not the only thing up for discussion and says he is still fighting to keep Farm Bill talks going.

“At 85 percent of the Fam Bill being Nutrition and 15 percent of it for family farmers, it just isn’t much of a Farm Bill. We want to put more ‘farm’ into the Farm Bill.”

There will be around eight legislative days before a potential government shutdown when lawmakers return from recess. Unless new money is found, cuts to nutrition and possibly other titles could be on the table.