August 9, 2022
Fargo, US 73 F

House Ag Committee to consider farm bill Wednesday

The House Ag Committee will take their version of the farm bill under consideration today. Some Congressmen are concerned about the differences in the bill to the Senate Ag Bill, specifically the amount of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The House plan is set to cut $16 billion in food stamp spending over 10 years, while the Senate cut $4.5 billion in food stamp spending when it passed its version of the farm bill in June. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has expressed his concern over the differences in food stamp cuts being an obstacle to reaching a final farm bill, providing the House passes its bill.Source: CornCommentary.com

Another contentious issue is the provision in the House farm bill that would accelerate the review process for genetically modified crops. Environmental groups are raising objections to the legislation that would block the USDA from using certain federal laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, as a basis for rejecting a proposed seed variety. The proposal would also impose a one-year deadline for the USDA to assess new biotech seeds, after which they would be automatically approved.

On the one side, seed companies argue that opponents of genetically modified seeds have been needlessly delaying new crops with legal challenges. And on the other, environmental and consumer groups argue that the new rules would “make a mockery” of USDA’s crop reviews.

House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas has defended the bill, saying he and Ranking Member Collin Peterson tried to draft a balanced, fiscally responsible bill. He says the feedback he has received on the draft is pretty positive. There are concerns that even if the committee passes a bill, there is no guarantee the bill will get floor time in the full House before the elections.

The House Ag Committee hearing can be seen on C-SPAN 3 live today, while a pool feed will also be provided for Rural TV and Iowa Public Television.

 

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