2023 farm bill

House Ag chairman blasts ‘one-sided’ farm bill coalition and ‘meddling Senate Democrat’

The farm bill coalition — the rural and urban alliance credited with carrying farm bills to enactment — "is a one-sided talking point," said House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson on Tuesday in insisting on a $53 billion increase in farm subsidies and cuts in SNAP. Time is running out for passage of the new farm bill this year, and farm groups, silent for weeks, are now calling for prompt congressional action.

Reject SNAP cuts in farm bill, says anti-hunger letter

More than 1,400 groups said in a letter to Congress on Tuesday that they "will oppose any farm bill," including the bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee in May, "which proposes cuts in SNAP, including restricting future Thrifty Food Plan benefit adjustments." Progress on the legislation has been deadlocked for weeks over disagreements on SNAP cuts, climate funding, and higher crop subsidy spending.

Second year in a row of high SNAP payment error rates

The SNAP payment error rate ticked upward to 11.68 percent in fiscal 2023, the second straight year of sharply higher post-pandemic error rates, said the Agriculture Department. Farm-state Republicans, who want to cut SNAP spending, said the new farm bill should eliminate any tolerance for overpayments by states, which administer SNAP.

Misleading and inaccurate arguments retard farm bill progress, says Stabenow

Congress may be forced to keep the 2018 farm law in operation into the new year because of "disingenuous and misleading" arguments by Republicans that are preventing progress on its replacement, said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. The new farm bill is nine months overdue so "it's time to get real," said Stabenow in a five-page statement.

SNAP costs fall by 5 percent in new CBO estimate

The largest U.S. anti-hunger program, SNAP, will cost $59 billion less over the coming decade than thought in February because food prices are moderating, said the Congressional Budget Office. The updated CBO baseline also indicated that estimated savings in the House Republican farm bill were too high and not nearly enough to pay for the plan’s proposed increases in crop subsidy and crop insurance spending.

Senate GOP farm bill plan: Billions more for farm subsidies, cuts in SNAP

The new farm bill should spend tens of billions of dollars more on crop subsidies and crop insurance while paring SNAP outlays, said Arkansas Sen. John Boozman in releasing the Senate GOP's outline for farm bill discussions on Tuesday. "I hope that we can get a farm bill done" this year, he said.

Stabenow says farm bill passage is within reach this year

Congress can enact a new farm bill this year, despite being months behind schedule, if lawmakers respect "the needs and interests of the broad farm and food coalition," said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on Tuesday. "I know we can build on bipartisan cooperation and finish a 2024 farm bill."

GOP uses ‘counterfeit money’ to pay for farm bill, says Vilsack

House Republicans are building unrealistic expectations in farm country by relying on “counterfeit money” to pay for a $50 billion expansion of crop subsidies and crop insurance in the new farm bill, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday. The House Agriculture Committee was expected to approve Chairman Glenn Thompson’s proposed bill on Thursday in a vote that would split along party lines.

Critics say House farm bill would pay out every year for Southern crops

Crop supports would be set so high in the farm bill written by House Republicans that cotton, peanut, and rice growers, and probably wheat and sorghum farmers too, "would receive a payment every year," said an environmental group on Tuesday. Farm groups called for Agriculture Committee passage of the bill later this week despite questions about the financial underpinnings of the five-year legislation.

GOP farm bill increases crop subsidy ceiling by 24 percent

Row-crop farmers would be able to collect up to $155,000 a year in crop subsidies, a $30,000 increase from the current limit, under the farm bill written by House Republicans and scheduled for a committee vote on Thursday. And, for the first time, the subsidy ceiling, often a lightning rod for reformers, would be adjusted annually for inflation.

Crop subsidy costs could surge 56 percent under House farm bill, say analysts

The farm bill drafted by House Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson could boost crop subsidy spending by $23 billion — 56 percent — above current levels and favor growers in the South over farmers in the North, according to analysts at two Midwestern universities. To offset the cost, they said, reductions may be needed in conservation, crop insurance, or nutrition programs.

Still time to make a deal on farm bill, says Thompson

House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson said “my door remains open” for negotiations despite having drafted a farm bill package that crosses two red lines drawn by Democrats on his committee. Thompson released a 38-page summary of his package, the most detailed description yet, while …

‘Let’s get serious,’ says Stabenow, proposing 2024 farm bill

With the new farm bill months overdue, Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow proposed a farm bill on Wednesday that would boost so-called reference prices — a roadblock issue — while rejecting the $28 billion cut in SNAP sought by conservative Republicans. “That is a hard red line for me,” Stabenow told reporters.

GOP vs. Democratic split as House nears farm bill markup

Republicans and Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee disagree on three major issues for the new farm bill — SNAP cuts, climate funding, and USDA access to a $30 billion reserve fund — despite recent exchanges of ideas. The committee apparently is headed for a "very partisan" bill-drafting session at the end of May, said a House Democratic staff worker on Tuesday.

Some crops will get bigger reference price increases than others, Thompson says

If Congress follows his lead, some commodities will get larger increases in reference prices than others, but the new farm bill will provide a robust safety net for all producers, said House Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson on Wednesday. Thompson said his proposed package, to be released in coming weeks, would remove some of the “guardrails” that limit the use of climate mitigation funding.

GOP-written farm bill is headed for House defeat, says senior Democrat

House Republicans are following the "same ideological strategy that led to the failures of farm bills on the House floor in 2014 and 2018," said Georgia Rep. David Scott, the senior Democrat on the Agriculture Committee. Republicans plan to tamper with future SNAP benefits, a red line for Democrats, said Scott in an essay.

Farm bill vote in committee before Memorial Day, says House Ag chairman

After repeated delays, House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson said on Tuesday that his committee, "without a doubt, will mark up a farm bill before Memorial Day." Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee plan to release a farm bill framework soon after the House panel acts, but Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, cautioned, "We haven't set an exact timeline" to move the bill.

Farm bill odds growing longer, says analyst

There is little reason for optimism that Congress will pass the new farm bill this year, wrote farm policy expert Jonathan Coppess on Thursday as part of an analysis showing that farm program payments favor Southern growers. “The chances of farm bill reauthorization in 2024 grow more dim with each passing day,” he said.

Senate Republicans renew bid to shift climate funds

Pointing to a “once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Republican staffers on the Senate Agriculture Committee proposed on Wednesday shifting more than $13 billion earmarked separately for climate mitigation into USDA land stewardship programs. Under Congress’ arcane budget rules, the transfer would result in a long-term increase of $1.8 billion a year for stewardship, they said, “subject only to congressional reauthorization.”

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