Farm bills are typically a marriage of farm support and public nutrition programs, but Republicans and Democrats bring different priorities to the undertaking, said associate professor Jonathan Coppess of the University of Illinois.
Congress traditionally enacts the farm policy bills covering the gamut from crop subsidies to food stamps at the urging of a coalition of farm, conservation and anti-hunger groups. A former USDA official said the 2023 farm bill could be in peril if there is a repetition of the political turbulence that temporarily derailed the omnibus legislation twice in the eight years.
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee said they are working on a bipartisan farm bill, in contrast to the Republican-written bill awaiting a vote in the House, but offered no suggestion on Tuesday as to when it will be ready. A month ago, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts warned Congress must move briskly on a bill this spring or forfeit passage this year.
A bill that would prohibit the shark fin trade nationwide is poised to pass in Congress with deep bipartisan support. Shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, can bring in $100 or more for a bowl.