On Oct. 28, the House of Representatives passed a two-year bipartisan budget agreement (H.R. 1314) that included an extension of the debt limit until March 2017. The Senate followed suit early Friday morning, ensuring that the bill will receive President Obama’s signature prior to Nov. 3, when the current debt limit expires.
Passage of this agreement does not mean that Congress’s work on a two-year budget is complete, but it clears the way for negotiation and passage of an omnibus appropriations bill later this year that will fund the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016. Currently, the federal government is being funded through a continuing resolution that is set to expire Dec. 11.
Earlier this year, both the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee approved respective versions of an Agriculture Appropriations bill that include full funding for the USDA Market Access Program ($200 million) and Foreign Market Development program ($34.5 million) as authorized by the farm bill. Under the new budget agreement, these programs will still be subject to annual sequestration.