Midterm Elections Could Have Impact on U.S. Farmers and Ranchers

News / Newsline November 10, 2022

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Votes are still being counted in several elections across the country. Chad Smith has more on how the outcomes could potentially affect agricultural policy.

Smith: Several undecided elections in key parts of rural America are still up for grabs. Cody Lyon, managing director of advocacy and political affairs for the American Farm Bureau, talks about what we know about the makeup of the 118th Congress.

Lyon: At this point it is still to be determined. Neither party has a majority in the House or the Senate that's needed. We expect the Republicans to gain a majority in the House by a very narrow margin, and the Senate will be unknown until the runoff election in Georgia is decided on December 6.

Smith: Based on the results so far, Lyon talks about what it might mean for developing the next farm bill.

Lyon: I believe we are similar to where we were prior to the election except a Republican House will change the focus on what they want to be involved with. And the biggest change is really going to be in committee leadership. We're fortunate in that we have a very good relationship with the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ag Committee. And if those two roles switch, we know we have good relationships with both those members of Congress, and it's the same on the Senate side as well.

Smith: He says there are three undecided Senate elections that will be very important to developing the farm bill.

Lyon: The one in Georgia, just as it was two years ago, could very well determine whether or not the Senate is going to be 51-49, one party over the other, or 50-50, in which case vice president Harris would be the deciding vote. On the House side, the margins are going to be very narrow, very close, and some of the races we're looking at are in some more rural areas, and we want to see who wins those races because some of those members are on the House Agriculture Committee.

Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.

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