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Lawmakers frustrated yet optimistic on farm bill

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House of Representatives has left for its holiday break without a new farm bill in place, and that's frustrating and annoying for North Dakota lawmakers.

But Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp both say they'd rather have no farm bill passed than another short-term extension that takes the pressure off House and Senate negotiators to craft a deal.

Hoeven, a Republican, says the good news is that negotiators are close to a deal.

Before it left on Thursday, the Republican-controlled House approved a short-term extension that would have stretched some provisions of the last farm bill into early next year. But the Democratically controlled Senate has no plans to take up an extension, an approach that both Hoeven and Heitkamp, a Democrat, support.