Negotiators say no new U.S. farm bill before January

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 10, 2013 4:23 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The lead agricultural negotiators in the U.S. Congress said on Tuesday that a new bill would not be completed before January as Democrats and Republicans struggle to reach a compromise on sticking points such as funding for food stamps.

Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said Republicans will prepare a bill calling for a one-month extension of current farm law.

But Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agricultural Committee, said that Democrats would not support an extension and would instead allow the current law to expire at year-end.

The pair spoke with reporters after an hour-long meeting, the latest in which lawmakers attempted to finalize a framework for the long-overdue legislation.

(Reporting by Charles Abbott, writing by Ros Krasny; Editing by Gary Hill)