I am posting this ‘background’ of the recently defeated Farm Bill (H.R. 1947) so readers can have a better understanding of the history of the Farm Bill, and its programs. It was on the House Republican Conference website. The Democrats did not have a summary/background on their website.
next: Details on the SNAP portion of the FARM BILL SUMMARY
HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE SUMMARY
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
According to the Committee on Agriculture, H.R. 1947 is the product of nearly three years of work, including 46 hearings and audits, proposals to the deficit reduction committee, and committee consideration and passage of legislation. The legislation cuts more than $40 billion from commodity and nutrition programs, including $20.5 billion from the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), eliminates the Direct Payment program and reforms commodity programs saving $14 billion and saves an additional $6.9 billion by consolidating 23 conservation programs to 13 programs. Finally, the bill provides additional regulatory relief to farmers.
The Farm bill was last reauthorized in 2008 and expired on September 30, 2012. According to CRS, “[I]t contains 15 titles covering support for commodity crops, horticulture and livestock production, conservation, nutrition, trade and food aid, agricultural research, farm credit, rural development, energy, forestry, and other related programs. It also includes provisions that make certain changes to tax laws, in order to offset some new spending initiatives in the final bill. The enacted bill succeeds the most recent 2002 farm bill and is to guide most federal farm and food policies through 2012. Many provisions of the 2002 farm bill expired in September 2007, but were extended under a series of temporary extensions prior to final enactment of the 2008 bill.”
As mentioned above, the 2008 farm bill expired on September 30, 2012 and farm commodity programs were supposed to begin reverting to an outdated and expensive “permanent law” on January 1, 2013. However, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended all the 2008 farm bill provisions that were in effect on September 30, 2012, for one year until September 30, 2013. For those farm commodity programs that are on a different calendar, the extension includes the 2013 crop year, for which certain authorizations for dairy programs continues until December 31, 2013.
There is no net cost to the extension because mandatory funding continuing most of the major farm bill programs was already in the budget baseline, such as for the farm commodity, conservation, trade, and nutrition programs. Crop insurance is permanently authorized.
 See id at p. 174.
 See H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Roll Call No. 756, Roll Call No. 315, and Roll Call No. 346) and H.R. 6124, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Roll Call No. 353 and Roll Call No. 417).
 See id.