Vilsack on Farm Bill

Vilsack on Farm Bill

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says there won’t be a new farm bill until there’s “flexibility” in ways to fund one and the political will to do it.

Vilsack says lawmakers need to look outside the farm bill for farm safety net funds to avoid hurting popular conservation and nutrition programs …

VILSACK … “It becomes a bit difficult to see the pathway to a farm bill unless folks say, how do we use all of the tools—not just the farm bill—how do we use all of the tools.”

Including the politically controversial Commodity Credit Corporation …

VILSACK … “The CCC is a resource that’s available, and every year, virtually every year, there’s money left over in that CCC fund.”

But some in the GOP say that Vilsack and even the Trump Administration used CCC as a ‘slush fund’ for pet projects.

Still, Vilsack says the Inflation Reduction Act conservation dollars, current SNAP and WIC funding, in concert with a farm bill may be the only answer …

VILSACK … “I think the attitude is that until we see that kind of flexibility, it’s going to be difficult, and there’s going to be a standstill, and then, some people think, well, an extension of the existing farm bill is better than a bad bill.”

Politico quoted Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow as saying, on limiting anti-hunger programs in a new farm bill: “I’m not going to do it, so if that means we continue the policies of the 2018 farm bill, then that’s ok.”

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