The vast majority of the rural development title approved by the Senate reauthorizes existing programs and sets annual authorized appropriation levels. This issue of the Rural Brief compares the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill.
HR 2419, as approved by the U.S. Senate on December 14, 2007, authorized a total of $479 million annually for Farm Bill authorized rural development programs. About 55 percent ($265 million) of that authorized spending is mandatory spending, or spending that must be included in the annual federal budget through the appropriation process.
Farm Bill action now moves to a joint House and Senate conference committee that will resolve differences between the two versions and prepare the final bill. The conference committee is scheduled to start in late January or early February.
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