climate funding

GOP powers House committee passage of farm bill with $53 billion in new ag spending

The Republican-controlled House Agriculture Committee, with four Democratic crossovers, approved a farm bill early Friday that increases crop subsidy and crop insurance spending by one-third, cuts SNAP by $30 billion, and repudiates a Biden administration initiative on climate mitigation. Democrats said the bill has no chance of becoming law and might not survive a vote on the House floor because it lacks bipartisan support. (No paywall)

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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

Republicans would put half of climate funding into commodity subsidies, says Stabenow

Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow rejected on Thursday a Republican proposal to move several billion dollars of climate funds into the commodity title of the farm bill. “No, the answer to that is no,” Stabenow said at an expo on climate-smart agriculture practices.

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.”

‘We need a safety net that works,’ say farm-state senators

Pointing to forecasts of a second year in a row of falling farm income, Republican senators called for more money for farm subsidies on Wednesday. “We’ve got to get it right for production agriculture” in the new farm bill, said North Dakota’s John Hoeven at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

Vilsack and lawmakers spar over farm economy

During a sometimes prickly House hearing on Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged lawmakers to buckle down and write a farm bill that does not cut SNAP or climate funds. Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee said the Biden administration has overlooked the needs of the large-scale farmers who produce the bulk of U.S. crops and livestock.

Stabenow says ‘the time to act is now’ on farm bill

Farm-state lawmakers should take advantage of an offer of billions of dollars in new resources and negotiate the new farm bill now, said Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. The Michigan Democrat called for action following a USDA forecast of a steep drop in farm income and a Congressional Budget Office forecast of lower SNAP costs for years to come.