Farm Bill differences continue to hinder legislation progress

by | Mar 1, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack quoted USDA’s founder, President Abraham Lincoln at a USDA oversight hearing with Senate Ag Leaders this week.

With the President Lincoln quote he made the unspoken point, that stubborn partisan differences could force another one-year extension of the 2018 farm bill.

Politico reported this week that retiring Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow, at a recent White House event, said that she would rather extend the 2018 bill another year than leave a legacy of climate and SNAP spending cuts. At the latest hearing Stabenow says inflation continues to hinder producers.

Top Ag Republican John Boozman has a different focus, the need to boost the farm safety net with SNAP and climate savings.

Vilsack says net cash income hit a record in the last three years with falling joblessness and rural poverty. He argues new revenue streams, not just a new farm bill, are needed for farmers to diversify their operations.

Vilsack committed only to work with lawmakers to boost crop supports, possibly with CCC funds. For SNAP Vilsack defended USDA’s updating benefits in 2022, while adding that costs could come down with declining enrollments.