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House Ag Leaders Hint the Farm Bill Logjam Can be Broken

House Ag leaders, despite their continued warring, hinted at a recent hearing that there may still be a way to achieve an eleventh-hour breakthrough on the farm bill.

It was a barely noticeable hint amid all the verbal arrows he fired, that maybe top Ag Democrat David Scott was suggesting a way forward for the farm bill. Scott said, “Because the economy has improved, benefits and need for the program have decreased. The CBO is now expecting SNAP to cost 67 billion dollars less, over the next decade, than originally expected.”

A savings that if the Congressional Budget Office is correct and if farm bill negotiators can agree to use some of that for farm supports, that could pave a way toward ending a year-long stalemate.

House Ag Chair GT Thompson perhaps also hinted at ways forward and may have even held out an olive branch to the other side.

Thompson said, “Considerable opportunities exist within our jurisdiction to not only fund the safety net but fund a substantial number of shared bipartisan priorities. And I continue to implore my Democratic colleagues to think in earnest about these priorities – priorities that can be funded without cutting SNAP, a SNAP benefit, or eliminating the important conservation programs that we’ve all come to appreciate.”

Thompson complained that Washington is filled with “armchair pundits” who say a new farm bill is “impossible,” that “politics will prevail over good policy,” and that “dysfunction has consumed us.” But Thompson insisted every negative comment only “intensifies his commitment to the American farmer” to get a farm bill done.

Story provided by the NAFB News Service and Matt Kaye, Berns Bureau Washington

More on this story, a look at SNAP and potential savings can be found in an updated version here:

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