House Ag Chair Glenn GT Thompson says he won’t drop his farm bill funding strategy at the heart of disagreements with Democrats on how to make the next five-year law work. There was no mistaking Ag Chair Thompson’s point—writing the next farm bill will take “significant investment” by repurposing Inflation Reduction Act funds and reforming SNAP.
Thompson said, “These ideas have been applauded and demonized, but I will not relent, and I will not fail our rural communities, many of whom have suffered insurmountable loss due to variables beyond their control.”
Thompson called for a strategic versus transformational approach to a new farm bill to replace the expired bill Congress extended through next September. He said, “These funding opportunities would not only fine tune the farm safety net, but increase the farm bill’s baseline, through the reinvestment in bipartisan priorities across other titles, including conservation, research, and nutrition.”
But Ag Democrats led by North Carolina’s Don Davis sitting in for David Scott were also dug in, refusing to shift funds from party priorities like SNAP or the president’s Inflation Reduction Act.
Davis said, “We also must build on the success of the conservation programs funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, empowering farmers to adopt practices that are good for the environment and their bottom lines. The farm bill must fight food insecurity by ensuring every household in America, our children, our grandparents, and our disabled and veterans have access to food.”
The same arguments Senate Democrats made in unsuccessful farm bill talks this year with Senate Ag Republicans. It’s a chasm that will remain hard to close in a presidential election year without an unexpected injection of new funds, already at issue in unending appropriations fights that will also spill into the new year.
Story courtesy of the NAFB News Service and Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau Washington