Partisan Farm Bill Passes House Ag Committee

Partisan Farm Bill Passes House Ag Committee
May 24th, 2024 | News Release

WASHINGTON – Today, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott made the following statement after Chairman GT Thompson advanced partisan legislation out of Committee.

“For over a year, Democrats have engaged with the Chairman, striving for a genuinely bipartisan farm bill that meets the needs of our farmers and the families they feed. This partisan farm bill fails that test by pitting farmers against the families they feed. Instead of working with House Democrats to write a truly bipartisan bill, House Republicans spent the last year waging a relentless campaign against the very farm bill titles that would garner our support. This partisan farm bill makes the largest cut to SNAP in nearly 30 years.

“This partisan farm bill undermines historic climate investments secured by House Democrats in the Inflation Reduction Act. This partisan farm bill eliminates a crucial tool used by Democratic and Republican administrations to aid our farmers during emergencies. 

“Throughout this process, I communicated to the Republicans that the funding scheme they pushed for would alienate Democratic support and imperil a bipartisan farm bill. They did not listen. When I presented a counterproposal to the Chairman which would invest tens of billions in the farm safety net while avoiding damaging cuts to food assistance and climate-smart agriculture, it was rejected. Republicans were not interested in engaging. The result is this partisan farm bill that violates our core values as Democrats, hurts the American people—particularly our most vulnerable, including children and people with disabilities—and lacks the broad Democratic support to pass on the House Floor.

“House Republicans have marched themselves off an ideological cliff on SNAP. I hope that once Republicans recover from this self-imposed stumbling block, that they will return to the negotiating table to pursue a truly bipartisan farm bill. Farmers know that the only way we get them the support they need is through bipartisanship. The Republican strategy was to intentionally split the traditional bipartisan farm bill coalition by pitting farmers against food banks, environmental advocates, labor unions, and the American families who rely on the healthy, nutritious foods that farmers grow. That is not a genuine bipartisan process. 

“This bill may have advanced out of Committee, but it has no future. It does not have the Democratic support necessary to be brought to the House Floor. It will not become law. There is still time for Republicans to come to their senses and strike a bipartisan compromise. House Democrats will be here, ready and willing to work, once they do.”

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Friday released the following statement on the House markup of the 2024 Farm Bill. 

“I’m glad that Chairman Thompson is working to move the process forward so that we can complete our work on the 2024 Farm Bill this year. Despite areas of common ground, it is now clear that key parts of the House bill split the Farm Bill coalition in a way that makes it impossible to achieve the votes to become law.  And it is also clear that we do not have time to waste on proposals that cannot meet that goal. 

“I have always believed there is a bipartisan path forward if we maintain the long tradition of respecting the needs and interests of the broad farm and food coalition. This has always been the foundation of a successful Farm Bill.   

“My door remains open, and I am ready to find a successful way forward. Working together, I know we can pass a strong, bipartisan bill that keeps farmers farming, families fed, and rural communities strong.” 

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) thanked the House Agriculture Committee for passing the next Farm Bill, known as the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024. This Farm Bill includes top priorities for cattle farmers and ranchers including cattle health, voluntary conservation, and food security provisions.
“Cattle producers are thankful that the House Agriculture Committee has advanced a Farm Bill that delivers on the needs of rural America,” said NCBA President and Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele. “This Farm Bill protects the cattle industry from foreign animal disease, supports producers’ voluntary conservation efforts, and safeguards our food supply, recognizing that our food security is national security. On behalf of cattle farmers and ranchers across the country, thank you to Chairman Thompson and the House Agriculture Committee for passing this bill. I hope the full House will take the next step and pass this bill soon.”

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is pleased the U.S. House Agriculture Committee has passed their 2024 Farm Bill, which supported all of producer’s farm bill requests, including a  federal fix to the host of Prop. 12 issues plaguing producers and consumers

“The 2024 Farm Bill is a golden opportunity to address a top issue for pork producers across the country – California Prop. 12 – and I’m pleased to see the U.S. House Agriculture Committee seize the opportunity to stop a potential 50-state patchwork of differing on-farm regulations,” said NPPC President Lori Stevermer, a pork producer from Easton, Minn.

“At a time when bipartisanship is often a four-letter word in Washington, we applaud the House Agriculture Committee for working together to deliver a farm bill that validates America’s pork producers’ needs.”

“We urge the U.S. Senate to follow suit and provide much needed certainty to pork producers and consumers across the country.”

A 2018 California ballot initiative, Proposition 12, prohibits the sale of uncooked whole pork meat not produced according to the state’s arbitrary housing dimensions. Recent USDA data indicates price spikes as high as 41% for pork in California since Prop. 12 came into effect. 

The House Farm Bill also accomplishes 100% of U.S. pork producers’ priorities, including:

•    Preservation of necessary resources to protect the nation’s food supply through foreign animal disease prevention.
•    Increase in market access programs for U.S. pork.
•    Boost in resources for feral swine eradication to protect the health of our herds.
•    Authorization of the National Detector Dog Training Center, which serves as the first line of defense for early detection at ports of entry.

The National Milk Producers Federation thanked members of the House Agriculture Committee for their work to advance a 2024 Farm Bill through Congress this year, with bipartisan approval for a plan introduced by Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson that includes numerous provisions important to dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own. 

“We commend Chairman Thompson and committee members from both parties for approving a 2024 House Farm Bill that includes critical dairy priorities that will help support and grow this industry,” said Gregg Doud, president and CEO of NMPF. “We will do whatever we can to work with lawmakers in both chambers on a bipartisan basis to pass a new law as soon as possible, knowing that dairy is well-served by what the House Agriculture Committee approved today.”

Provisions benefiting dairy urged by NMPF are found across the bill’s titles, including ones that:

  • Extend the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program through 2029; update production history for participating dairies to be based on the highest production year of 2021, 2022, or 2023; and extend the ability for producers to receive a 25% premium discount for locking five years of coverage;
  • Restore the “higher of” Class I mover to reinstate orderly milk marketing and require plant cost studies every two years to provide better data to inform future make allowance conversations, two key components of NMPF’s Federal Milk Marketing Order modernization proposal; 
  • Support the bipartisan, House-passed Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act to reverse the underconsumption of nutritious milk in our schools;
  • Boost funding for critical dairy trade promotion programs and protect the use of common food names worldwide;
  • Support voluntary, producer-led conservation programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, with dedicated funds for livestock operations and language encouraging states to prioritize methane-reducing practices;
  • Improve the certification of Third-Party Service Providers with technical expertise related to conservation planning to better assist producers participating in National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs; 
  • Continue the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network; and
  • Increase funding for animal health initiatives and programs.

Other provisions relevant to dairy include:

  • Increasing the DMC Program Tier 1 volume threshold from five million pounds to six million pounds;
  • Extending the Dairy Forward Pricing Program, the Dairy Indemnity Program, and the Dairy Promotion and Research Program; 
  • Directing USDA to collect and publish cost-of-production data for organic milk;
  • Raising EQIP conservation funding from $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2025 to $3.25 billion in fiscal year 2029;
  • Requiring USDA to create a public process for updating conservation practice standards every five years; and
  • Requiring USDA to report to Congress on the department’s preparedness to support livestock and poultry growers facing economic losses in the event of an outbreak of a foreign animal disease.

© 2024 Nebraska Rural Radio Association. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information