When struggling to get the 2014 Farm Bill passed Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow referred to it as "the Farm Bill from hell". At that time Democrats controlled the Senate and the Executive Branch of government and Republicans controlled the Senate.
It was finally passed and sent to President Obama after three years of stops and starts. The struggle pitted urban interests who were interested in the feeding programs, primarily what was known as food stamps, against the rural interests who were interested in protecting crop insurance, which is about the income support program left for farmers.
For the first time in approximately 45 years I will be watching from the sidelines. This includes the time I spent working as general counsel of the the Senate Agriculture Committee and in private practice beginning in 1978.