Well, the House has published their farm bill "framework" (pdf) and word from
DC is that it includes a 50% increase in the direct payment limit.
This was included in the House-passed farm bill from last summer (and
we studied it in a previous report), but it was hard to imagine that
such an increase would ever be included in the final farm bill. Let's
back up a minute to examine the sheer brazenness of this.
Well, we've got down to it. The House has finally thrown down on the
Senate and is about to either prompt a new farm bill or a whole lot of
finger-pointing. So now is the last chance- either a new farm bill or
an extension will pass in the coming weeks. It's hard to tell what
will actually happen, but I can tell you this is the last opportunity
for many good things to become a part of the next farm bill.
As many of you may recall, the number one political opponent of enforcing real payment limits is Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. She pretty much led the campaign to defeat the Dorgan-Grassley amendment. Anyway, she's back in the news, with an editorial touting her commitment to rural development in the farm bill: