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Biden Debate Fallout Adds More Farm Bill Political Uncertainty

The political fallout from President Biden’s troubling debate performance and its impact on the election has added new uncertainty to the farm bill, according to one American Farm Bureau official.

AFB Government Affairs Director Joe Gilson says “there was a lot of uncertainty, and even more going into this July 3-week session.”

The debate fallout, with its possible impact on the presidential and Congressional races, comes just six legislative weeks before the election. Gilson says, “So, there was already uncertainty there. What we need to see in July is movement on the House floor, and in the Senate Ag Committee if we want to get a five-year farm bill done before the election, or even in the lame duck.”

But House leaders are focused on meeting a government funding deadline September 30th and want to complete spending bills first. Gilson argues passing a farm bill is a plus for both parties to show they care about rural America, but the political ‘door’ is closing.

He says, “Starting in July with the convention, and then we have folks going back home to campaign and do job interviews. So, we’re going to really need some show of bipartisan unity here which is to get a farm bill done. And that’s harder and harder to see happening as we get closer to the conventions.”

Something lawmakers and farm bill hands saw coming at the start of the year, further complicated now by uncertainty over one party’s ticket, the election, and implications for a new farm bill. Whenever it comes.

Story by Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau; courtesy of NAFB News Service

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