It happened because Republican leaders could not get enough members on board to pass even a short-term extension of the current farm bill, let alone a five-year reauthorization that Congress has been trying to craft.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., remains undaunted, saying that differences were never going to be resolved this week and that a conference committee could still be convened.
The Senate is unlikely to accept a drought-aid only package—at least anytime soon.
It’s possible that House passage of the aid package, probably Thursday, could lay the groundwork for a conference committee.
Earlier this year the farm bill that passed the Senate by a wide margin seemed to herald a new bipartisanship in the chamber and offered hope that a five-year farm bill could pass. That hope seems dashed.