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New Farm Bill Struggles

The effort to approve a new Federal Farm Bill is shaping up to be a major political fight in Congress this Fall. One of the architects of the pending Legislation says they’re probably going to need more time.

The Farm Bill has a tremendous impact on farming, food production and distribution, nutrition programs and dozens of other related issues. It allocates Federal Ag related spending and priorities every five years. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of next month, September 30th. Congressman Glenn Thompson, the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee who is putting together a new Farm Bill says more time will probably be needed. Thompson saying: “Well I think there’s going to have to be an extension. There’s a lot of moving parts. The House Agriculture Committee, we will be ready to go before this expires. The problem is were going to need a week on the House floor. There’s a lot of competition in September for that. Appropriation Bill, FFS, National Defense Authorization all expire the end of September.”

Plus, there could battles in the House on spending priorities. And then if there is passage there, the Farm Bill Legislation goes to to the Senate. We asked Representative Thompson about what Farmers are telling him in terms of their wish list for Farm Bill issues. Thompson, in response: “The number one priority I hear across the nation, they ask me to protect crop insurance. You know farming is the most at-risk industry when it comes to weather.”

Among the costliest elements of the Farm Bill is the SNAP Program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which provides funding and food to feed those in need.

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