Thompson Prepares For Farm Bill Challenges
The push to get a farm bill across the finish line this year could run headlong into the partisan fight over budget cuts versus raising the government’s borrowing limit. On Thursday, new House Ag Chair, Republican Glenn Thompson stressed that lawmakers have a deadline in front of them, since the current Farm Bill expires on September 30th of this year. While that deadline looms, Thompson said Ag country faces a real challenge ahead, as he will likely ask for more money in the 2023 Farm Bill at a time where members of his own part demand spending cuts from the White House.
“Our farm families need immediate action to address skyrocketing input costs, supply chain uncertainties and other challenges," Thompson noted. "We need this administration to stop its irresponsible regulatory action, and the majority to stop fueling the fire with out-of-control spending packages and haphazard policy.”
Referring to trillions of dollars in COVID spending, but that also included billions of dollars for Ag conservation and rural broadband. Still, Republicans said they want cuts in return for raising the debt limit, a strategy the White House so far, rejects.
“We’re going to have a good farm bill, even though, we know the realities are, America’s got to balance its books; we have to find some fiscal discipline," stressed Freshman GOP Ag member John Duarte.
But doing so, he added, is another matter.
Roughly 70% of the federal budget is mandatory spending like Social Security and Medicare, close to 80% of the Farm Bill is mandatory spending as well, but most of that for food stamps. Urban lawmakers have said cutting nutrition is a non-starter, meanwhile cutting farm safety nets like commodity, conservation and crop insurance programs is a non-starter for rural lawmakers. Passing a Farm Bill will take votes from both parties.
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