House Agriculture Committee

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.

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)

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.

Ten ag panelists on list of vulnerable House Democrats

The campaign committee for House Democrats lists 10 members of the House Agriculture Committee among 29 "Frontline Democrats" in a fundraising appeal. "We must defend all 29 vulnerable Democrats running for re-election" if the party is to win a House majority in the Nov. 5 general election, said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Allow ag processors to hire guestworkers, says House group

Congress should expand the agricultural guestworker program, now limited to seasonal jobs, to include employment at year-round processing plants, said a working group composed of House Agriculture Committee members on Thursday. “One thing that has become clear is the need for dairy producers, meat processors, sugar processors, forestry, ranchers, and others to have access to a steady and legal workforce,” said the lawmakers.

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.

The ‘four corners’ struggle to square the farm bill circle

House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson declared, "I am at the table" to write the new farm bill — with multibillion-dollar cuts already rejected by Democrats on the committee. "I hope my colleagues across the aisle join me," said Thompson, as farm bill leaders clashed over the direction of the moribund legislation.

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.

Year-end farm bill trash talk in the House

It’s the Republicans’ fault there was no farm bill this year, said the usually decorous Rep. David Scott, senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, as the House recessed for the year-end holidays. Says you, Republican staff workers responded on the internet.

House Agriculture chair has prostate cancer

Rep. Glenn Thompson, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, said on Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the second-most common cancer among men. “I will tackle this head-on,” he vowed in a statement.

Ag committee Republicans vote against funding bill

Eleven of the 29 Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee voted against the government funding bill that includes a one-year extension of the 2018 farm law, House records show. The extension would give the Senate and House Agriculture committees more time to write the next farm bill.

Farm labor panel focuses on guestworkers

The H-2A visa program for farm workers needs to be modernized, said the leaders of a working group composed of one third of the members of the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. An interim report by the working group said growers turn to the H-2A visa as a last resort because of its "high costs and regulatory complexities," and that agricultural labor is increasingly difficult to find.

Farm bill extension needed because of GOP extremism, says Scott

Pointing to "extremism and cynicism" among House Republicans, the Democratic leader on the House Agriculture Committee called for a one-year extension of current law to allow time to write a bipartisan farm bill. Meanwhile, House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson told a home-state newspaper to expect a farm bill vote in the House during December.

Ag leaders discussing farm bill extension

The senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee “is having conversations about an extension” of the 2018 farm law into the new year, said a spokesperson on Wednesday. Farm leaders in Congress have said they intend to enact a new farm bill by late December, but a legislative logjam is growing on Capitol Hill.

Austin Scott’s brief bid for speaker spotlights futility of rural leaders

Georgia Rep. Austin Scott, a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, was shunted aside by fellow Republicans in his one-day bid to become speaker of the House. Scott, a mainstream conservative, said he would support Rep. Jim Jordan, who won the GOP nomination on a 121-81 vote, when the House votes this week on a successor to Kevin McCarthy.

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