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Farm Bill Process Picking Up Pace

Joby Young

Executive Vice President

Chad Smith

Associate News Service Editor, NAFB

Farmers and ranchers are still waiting for a new farm bill, but some progress has recently been made. Chad Smith has more on the prospects for new legislation this year.

Smith: The 2018 farm bill expired last year, and Congress passed a one-year extension of that bill. Joby Young, executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, says the time is now to get a new bill through Congress.
Young: So, we're operating under extension of the 2018 farm bill right now and really hoping for a new full five-year farm bill to be debated soon and work its way through the agriculture committees and hopefully the Congress and go to the President's desk. So that's what we're working on right now and looking forward to.
Smith: Young says it’s important that a farm bill is bipartisan to make sure it can get through the legislative process.
Young: Historically, farm bills have been bipartisan. So, if you look back through history, because of the agricultural portions and the nutrition portions and just all of the reach that a farm bill has, they’re passed in a bipartisan manner, and this year, I don't think will be any different. There's going to be a lot of debates about particular pieces of the farm bill and policy across all 12 titles, but ultimately, I think what you'll see is a bipartisan farm bill.
Smith: Young says that Farm Bureau appreciates that both parties on Capitol Hill have presented proposals, but there are still quite a few steps in the process.
Young: Chairman Thompson in the House is putting forward text and moving towards a markup in the coming days in the House Committee, and so, that's really exciting because that's where you really actually get to see the different specific policies and starting to debate them. So, we hope that the Senate follows suit and moves towards releasing texts and moves towards a markup soon because the calendar is our enemy right now. And as every day goes by, it gets tougher to pass a farm bill this year with presidential politics and close margins in the House and other things.
Smith: Learn more at fb.org/farmbill. Chad Smith, Washington.


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Farm Bill

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