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    Senate, House Pass Farm Bill Extension

    Latest round now set to expire April 18.

    With negotiations on the new Farm Bill continuing, the House and Senate agreed late last week to extend the 2002 Farm Bill law until April 18. The current extension was set to expire March 15.

    House-Senate negotiators have been working for months to reconcile competing versions of a new five-year farm bill.

    Earlier in the week, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin expressed optimism that closed door meetings between House and Senate negotiators were making progress on the sticking points. However, he said if the new bill is not passed by April 18, it likely would lead to a one-year extension of the 2002 farm law.

    Three issues continue to stymie action: how much to spend on the bill, where the funding will come from and policy reforms required by the Administration to avoid a veto.

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