Environmental Groups: No Farm Bill Better Than Bad Bill

The Food Research and Action Center and a group of left-leaning environmental groups will hold a press conference Monday to tell Congress “No farm bill is better than a bad farm bill.” The Hagstrom Report says the announcement means the lobbying coalition on the farm bill is officially split on the importance of passing a farm bill this year. Major farm groups like the American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union, along with commodity and conservation groups, are calling on Congress to finish the farm bill this year. But FRAC and other major nutrition groups never signed on to letters written to Congress by the other groups. Talks of a farm bill extension are growing as big differences remain between the House and Senate versions of the farm bill, especially over the work requirements for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A FRAC spokeswoman says, “We are pushing for passage of the Senate bill as the pathway to a good farm bill.” House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson backs the Senate SNAP provisions. However, he says that he and House Democratic leadership want to finish the bill this year, even though Peterson would chair the committee if Democrats take over the House. Other groups participating in the news conference include the Environmental Working Group, Food Policy Action, as well as the National Resources Defense Council.