Senate passes stopgap spending bill with Farm Bill extension

By Erin Voegele | November 16, 2023

The U.S. Senate late on Nov. 15 passed a temporary spending package that aims to avert a government shutdown that would otherwise begin on Nov. 17.  The stopgap bill includes a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 336 to 95 to approve the legislative package the previous day.

The Farm Bill is a package of legislation that is normally passed every five years. It covers a wide range of programs, including crop insurance, nutrition programs, and programs that support bioenergy initiatives. The 2018 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, 2023. The extension included in the stopgap funding bill would remain in place through Sept. 30, 2024, providing Congress with approximately 10 months to craft and implement a new Farm Bill.

Programs listed under the Energy Title of the 2018 Farm Bill include the Biobased Markets Program; the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Products Manufacturing Assistance Program; the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels; the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program; the Rural Energy for America Program; the Biomass Research and Development Program; the Feedstock Flexibility Program; the Biomass Crop Assistance Program; the Community wood Energy and Wood Innovation Program; and the Carbon Utilization and Biogas Education Program. 

President Biden is expected to sign the stopgap funding bill before the 11:59 p.m. deadline on Nov. 17, averting a government shutdown.