Congress can enact a new farm bill this year, despite being months behind schedule, if lawmakers respect “the needs and interests of the broad farm and food coalition,” said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on Tuesday. “I know we can build on bipartisan cooperation and finish a 2024 farm bill.”

Progress on the five-year legislation has been slowed by disagreements over crop subsidies, SNAP, and climate funding. A stop-gap extension of the current law — the second in a row — may be necessary to provide time for agreement on the new bill.

Stabenow released a farm bill outline a month ago, and Senate Republicans are expected to respond with a farm bill framework soon. Stabenow’s outline rejects cuts in SNAP, keeps the guardrails on a windfall $15 billion earmarked for climate mitigation, and offers an increase in reference prices of at least 5 percent for row crops.

Arkansas Sen. John Boozman, the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, also presses for farm bill passage this year and believes the GOP has leverage with approval of a Republican-written farm bill by the House Agriculture Committee on May 24. That bill would increase crop subsidy and crop insurance outlays by $53 billion, cut SNAP by $10 billion, and allow climate funding to be spent on any conservation practice whether or not it captures carbon or reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Boozman has expressed similar goals, which contradict Stabenow’s outline.

“It is so critical that the path [of action] maintain the long tradition of respecting the needs and interests of the broad farm and food coalition,” said Stabenow during a subcommittee hearing on beginning farmers. “That’s how we get it done. That’s the foundation for a successful farm bill.”

The House was expected to devote its attention in the near term to work on the annual appropriations bills that fund the government. That could reduce the chances for a prompt House vote on the farm bill, let alone House and Senate agreement on a final version of the bill before the end of summer. Lawmakers agreed last fall to a one-year extension of the 2018 farm law, through this Sept. 30. Without an extension, USDA would lose authority to operate the farm program.

Congressional leaders have the options of a short-term extension, with the possibility of agreement on the farm bill during the post-election session, or a longer-running extension because of intractable disagreements over the bill. The 2018 farm law was enacted after a round of deal-making following the mid-term elections.