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Another Nail in the Coffin for Increasing Farm Bill Funding

It’s another nail in the coffin for increasing farm bill funding for commodity programs. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says the Ag Committees are hemmed in on farm bill spending by the Congressional Budget Office and appropriators setting parameters after the debt ceiling deal.

And Grassley says that follows an assessment by Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) earlier in the week. Grassley; “Part of the answer to your question is something that Chairwoman Stabenow said in the last 24-hours, that there’s not going to be any new money in the farm bill…and if there is new money, it’s got to come from someplace else.”

Agri-Pulse reports Stabenow told farm groups, costs for fertilizer and diesel have dropped sharply since last year and groups differ regionally on changes needed to ARC and PLC supports. Ranking Ag Republican John Boozman refuses to back a farm bill without higher PLC supports.

But Grassley adds that lawmakers may be stuck with figures for SNAP—more than 80 percent of the farm bill—that overshoot food stamp spending by more than two billion dollars. Grassley; “Around this town, the Congressional Budget Office and its director is God! And the only way you overrule God is by a 60-vote margin.”

House Ag leaders meantime, continued to sharply disagree on SNAP spending. Chair GT Thompson (R-PA) says, “With the farm bill set to expire, we as policymakers, can build on the success of the 2018 farm bill and find opportunities to foster self-sufficiency, promote health, explore innovation, and ensure taxpayer resources are used most effectively.”

Ranking Democrat David Scott (D-GA) added; “We stand united against any efforts to take food away from children, families, or any vulnerable American in this farm bill, or any legislation.”

House GOP appropriators were already advancing increased work requirements for able-bodied adults without children, even before the debt limit deal did so…and to cut spending elsewhere for agriculture.

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