Congress Moving Closer To Passing Farm Bill Before Session Ends

Dead in the water just two months ago, a new Farm Bill has sprung to life, giving Agriculture supporters like Oklahoma's Frank Lucas hope that Congress could pass this important piece of legislation before the end of the session, and perhaps even sooner.

Friday, May 10th 2024, 9:41 pm



-

Dead in the water just two months ago, a new Farm Bill has sprung to life, giving Agriculture supporters like Oklahoma's Frank Lucas hope that Congress could pass this important piece of legislation before the end of the session, and perhaps even sooner.

With all the difficulty this Congress has had in getting the most basic things done, the massive Farm Bill had to sit on the back burner for quite a while.

But in the last week, both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have released summaries of their respective proposals.

"Neither one has made public yet final text," said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK3), a legacy member of the House Agriculture Committee. "So, until you have the final text, you don’t know for sure."

Still, Lucas is reasonably sure that nutrition and feeding programs like SNAP will be the predominant focus in the Senate, where Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow chairs the Ag Committee.

In the House, under Republican Chair Glenn Thompson, the focus is different.

"Probably a greater focus on the programs that raise the food and fiber," allowed Lucas. "Think of the commodities title, think of crop insurance."

For Congressman Lucas, himself a rancher, it's those titles that are most important, especially with all that's happened since the current Farm Bill was written back in 2018.

"After five years of inflation and Covid and trade wars," Rep. Lucas explained, "the safety net that was crafted in ‘14 and refined in ‘18 is not as safe as it used to be."

On Friday, the co-chairs of the House Climate Solutions Caucus sent a letter to HouseAgricultureCommittee leaders requesting they include in the Farm Bill 29 bipartisan "initiatives aimed at safeguarding existing agricultural supply chains, promoting resilient practices, expanding research and conservation, enhancing rural developmental capacity, and diversifying rural energy options."

Markup of the House version of the Farm Bill is set for the end of the month.

"I would like to think the Senate would follow suit in some form or fashion," Lucas said. "And we can get to a conference committee, where we traditionally, on Farm Bill policy, work out the differences and put the final details together."

The current Farm Bill begins to expire on Oct. 1. Lucas says, if necessary, Congress will pass another extension, but he's hopeful that won't be necessary.

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News 9 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

May 10th, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

Top Headlines

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024