Some Republican Lawmakers Against Raising Reference Prices
Following calls by some groups to increase reference prices in the upcoming Farm Bill, some Republican lawmakers are standing in "strong opposition" to any potential increases. Republican Representatives Alex Mooney of West Virginia, along with Tennessee's Andy Ogles, Brian Mast of Florida, and others, say any increase would further drive inflation higher.
In a letter addressed to both Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, Chair of the U.S. House Ag Committee, and Rep. David Scott, Ranking Member of the U.S. House Committee, the representatives believe that any increases in spending would “only drive up inflation further at a time when the country’s finances are in peril.”
The letter states, "At a time when Congress must be taking steps to reduce federal spending, we must resist costly attempts to expand the scope of government intervention in the free market." The lawmakers argue that "higher price guarantees" would mostly benefit fewer than 6,000 farms.
Increasing price guarantees for major crops would mostly benefit peanut, cotton, and rice farmers in Southern states, not corn and soybean farmers, according to the letter. Since payments are linked to production, the largest producers get the lion's share of the funding. In 2021, just ten percent of farmers received more than 80 percent of all Price Loss Coverage payments, the lawmakers claim.