Democrats control the usually bipartisan writing of the next farm bill, for now. But suppose power changes hands in one or both Houses as many expect in November? One Ag Senator thinks there could be impacts.
House and Senate Ag Committees have held pre-farm bill hearings for weeks on everything from climate change to farm subsidies and nutrition programs. But Democrats are calling the shots right now, which political experts and many in both parties expect to change in November, at least in the House.
Longtime Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says that could affect the writing of some farm bill titles in the normally bipartisan process. “It might have something to do with the level of expenditure on any particular program that the Ag department has, or the farm bill has in it. I think you’re going to have more discretion on the school lunch program to the local schools.”
As for the wider public; Grassley says “I think when it comes to the food stamp program, you’re going to have a reinstitution of the work requirement, although that would be if the administration doesn’t go back to the work program being required once the public health emergency is ended.”
In the meantime, support issues will largely remain dependent on farm economics and whether the 2018 formulas for ARC, PLC, Dairy Margin Coverage, and more still meet the needs of producers in 2023, when the new farm bill will get written.