The current farm act expires on Sept. 30 but the lapse won't have much practical effect in the near term. Still, it's a political black eye for Republicans, especially in states such as North Dakota and Iowa.
The lack of productivity of the 112th Congress was the result of divided government and bitter partisanship.
Congress' major accomplishments tended to be legislation that mostly extended current policies, such as a highway bill, and legislation demanded by Obama to renew a 2 percentage point payroll tax cuts and extend student loan subsidies.
Even this Congress' signature accomplishment — a budget and debt deal enacted last summer to cut $2.1 trillion from the budget over 10 years — delayed the most difficult decisions by assigning the supercommittee the job of finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings.
When that failed, House Republicans walked away from the budget deal by pressing for further cuts to domestic appropriations and reversing some on the pact's Pentagon cuts.
In the Senate, Reid worked closely with the White House to use the Senate schedule for Obama's political advantage, repeatedly forcing votes on closing tax breaks for oil companies and raising taxes on upper bracket earners.
But Reid failed to schedule debates on any of the 12 annual appropriations bills and the Democratic-led chamber, for the third year in a row, failed to pass a budget.
Republicans also point to almost 40 items of House-passed jobs-related legislation sitting stalled in the Senate.
"This isn't leadership. It is negligence," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Senate Democrats cited their progress on bills such as a renewal of farm programs and legislation to overhaul the Postal Service and give it an infusion of cash to stave off insolvency.
"The reality is for as closely as divided as this Senate is, we passed a large number of bipartisan bills this year, very important bills, but as you all know, it takes two chambers to pass a law," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "On the other side, too many of the Congress members, particularly the tea party folks, think compromise is a dirty word."
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