Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, Pennsylvania 15th District

Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice

Before the Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson explained in a webinar that Congress has more information to build the 2023 legislation on than any past farm bill.

Despite the extension of the current farm bill as well as over 70 listening sessions with agriculture industry leaders throughout the nation, legislators are still debating over top priorities for the 2023 bill.

“Our nation’s producers face insurmountable challenges every year, and it’s time for Congress to reciprocate, and quite frankly, we do that through a highly effective farm bill and the farm policy that’s included in it,” Thompson said.

The farm bill will likely not be submitted for final approval until December, and House members are pushing for firm legislation by the end of the year. While the past three farm bills from 2008, 2014, and 2018 exceeded their deadlines, the disruption to farm programs is inevitable as not all programs included with the bill are affected the same way by expiration.

The continued delay of farm bill progress is linked to political dissent between the Republican and Democratic parties, each with its own priorities. Republican Representative Marc Molinaro told The Hill that the farm bill is a critically important piece of legislation that ensures national security. Molinaro’s priorities center on milk production and foreign market access to foreign markets.

On the other side, Democratic Representative Jake Auchincloss prioritizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and marked a need for improvement. As the politics play out, the agriculture industry awaits a new 5-year bill to stabilize farm policy and improve their livelihood.

“We are still listening, but we are obviously starting to legislate with the farm bill,” Thompson said. “The committee’s been putting pen to paper, and we will be prepared to advance the farm bill legislation through the committee and to the House floor once leadership provides us that commitment for floor time.”

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