Farm Bill Hold Up

Farm Bill Hold Up

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says farm bill negotiations are taking more time than expected, slowing down drafting of a Senate farm bill …

STABENOW … “The negotiations are going slower than I would like, but I am…we are laser-focused on getting this done by December.”

That’s Stabenow responding to concerns by Senator Chuck Grassley that the talks with Republicans are way behind schedule, prompting the question …

GRASSLEY … “What is the hold-up in negotiations? Where are the friction points? Stabenow “Well, we just, at this point, I’m not going to get into negotiating in public.”

Stabenow says she and top Ag Republican John Boozman are leaning on Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to prop up the farm bill baseline with Commodity Credit dollars, allowed for commodity programs like MAP …

STABENOW … “I expect if the Secretary’s able to do it, that it will be robust funding. I mean, we hadn’t seen an increase in years in the MAP program, basically, the Market Access Program.”

But Stabenow says a more worrisome sign for the farm bill is the House GOP’s failure to move a USDA spending bill …

STABENOW … “I feel like there really is a parallel between the appropriations process and the farm bill.”

The Ag appropriations bill stalled in the House Rules Committee in July when hardline Republicans demanded more cuts.

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