Update on the Farm Bill

By: LSN Partners on July 21, 2023

House Democrats are carefully considering their stance on the upcoming Farm Bill, as both parties are debating issues such as food stamps and climate change. With the expiration of the current law approaching on September 30th, they are deliberating the extent to which they are willing to compromise on the farm policy that will be in effect for the next five years. 

As the House Agriculture and Nutrition Task Force, chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), held its final forum, the members expressed their determination to pass an inclusive and bipartisan bill. The task force aims to deliver its recommendations to fellow Democrats before the August recess. House Republicans will likely seek funding reductions to nutrition and climate change mitigation measures.

While the House and Senate Agriculture committees have begun drafting sections of their respective reauthorization bills, complete drafts are expected to be released in September, leaving limited time for completion. The farm bill has usually garnered bipartisan support after addressing a wide range of food and agriculture issues. However, previous bills faced challenges during floor debates due to disagreements about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

House Agriculture Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), committed to delivering a bipartisan bill, welcomes the input and recommendations from Democrats and other sources. Despite concerns expressed by Rep. McGovern that Republicans may push for further changes to SNAP, the chairman remains optimistic that communication between the committee and other members will facilitate progress. 

Another goal identified by Representative Bennie Thompson is to create pathways for new farmers, particularly those engaged in urban operations, to participate in farm and conservation programs. 

With the September 30th deadline for a deal fast approaching, the hope is to make significant progress before the August Congressional recess. LSN will continue to monitor the status of this wide-reaching legislation and keep you informed.