Farm bill

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)

Environmental, anti-hunger groups join opposition to House farm bill

Anti-hunger groups, environmentalists, and fiscal conservatives are mobilizing against the House Republicans’ proposed farm bill ahead of its markup later this week, arguing that it benefits agribusiness at the expense of low-income people, taxpayers, and the climate. 

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.

GOP farm bill puts SNAP savings into trade and horticulture programs

House Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson would funnel $10 billion in food stamp cuts into an expansion of trade promotion and horticulture programs as part of the new farm bill, said Republican staff workers on Thursday. One of them called opponents of SNAP cuts “hunger weirdos” who “use poor people as props.” (No paywall)

Stabenow: SNAP dispute makes 2024 farm bill the hardest yet

Protracted disputes over SNAP funding are preventing progress on the new farm bill and endangering support for the legislation, said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on Tuesday. The House Agriculture Committee was expected to vote next week on a Republican-written bill that would cut SNAP funding by $28 billion, despite Democratic opposition.

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 …

Trash talking the farm bill and lining up votes

House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson, who frequently injects red-meat messaging into his public comments, says he expects the Senate to pick up the pace in writing a farm bill. He has set a date, May 23, for a committee vote on his package, though there is no Senate mark-up session in sight.

‘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-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.

House Republicans embrace ‘pretty radical’ farm bill ideas — Vilsack

Most of the Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee — 21 of 29 — support "pretty radical" farm bill proposals at a time when only a bipartisan bill is sure of enactment, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. "It just underscores the difficulty of getting to a farm bill" when control of Congress is almost evenly divided, he said.

Farm-state GOP senators call for higher crop insurance subsidies

Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee proposed a $4 billion injection into the crop insurance program so that the government would pay a larger share of the premiums on policies offering the highest levels of coverage. "We need more farm in the farm bill to get it passed," said Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, the lead sponsor, on Tuesday.

Protect SNAP benefits, create farm revenue streams in farm bill — White House

The White House warned lawmakers against cutting SNAP in the new farm bill on Monday and said they should embrace climate-smart agriculture and other practices that would boost farmer income across the board, rather than pamper big operators. Farm bill leaders have been deadlocked for months over crop subsidies, SNAP, and climate funds.

Crop insurance costs to leap by 29 percent, says CBO

The federally subsidized crop insurance program will cost an additional $27.7 billion over the coming decade, said the Congressional Budget Office in projections released on Monday. The government pays roughly 62 cents of each $1 in premiums, and sales of livestock and forage policies are exploding.

The farm bill hall of shame

With the state of the next farm bill in crisis, FERN and Mother Jones launched a series of articles that analyze the nature of that crisis and explore the emerging issues that are changing the mandate of the nation’s most important agricultural legislation. In today’s piece, Claire Kelloway unpacks the ill-fated and sometimes shameful histories of the major debates that continue to shape today’s farm bill.

Put more climate change into the farm bill, suggests think tank

The next farm bill, "an unwieldy pile of programs," could be the vehicle to improve the Farm Belt's response to climate change while exercising restraint in commodity subsidies, said an American Enterprise Institute publication on Monday. In essays modeled on Christmas wish lists, seven agricultural economists expressed hopes ranging from more money for agricultural research to splitting the farm bill in two.

Crop insurance reform could save billions of dollars — GAO

Congress could achieve significant savings in the crop insurance program by reducing guaranteed payments to insurers and requiring wealthy operators to pay more for taxpayer-subsidized coverage, said the Government Accountability Office on Monday. The reforms could save billions of dollars on a program estimated to cost $101 billion over the next decade.

Allow SNAP purchase of hot foods, say lawmakers

The new farm bill should allow the purchase of hot foods with food stamps, said a letter signed by one-fifth of U.S. senators and representatives. The prohibition on hot food, in place since SNAP was created, "is no longer an accurate reflection of American families' dietary or lifestyle needs," said the lawmakers in a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees.

Hands off climate change funds, say House Ag Democrats

All 24 Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee signed a letter telling panel leaders on Monday "it would ultimately be a disservice to American farmers" to hijack the $20 billion earmarked in the farm bill for climate-mitigation projects. Some lawmakers, with Republicans the most vocal, would use the money to fatten the crop subsidy system.

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