Text of the agricultural bill published in the US House of Representatives, starting a fight with the Senate

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture released a bill Friday for a long-awaited $1.5 trillion farm bill that is likely to face opposition from Democrats in the Senate because of disagreements over federal anti-hunger programs and climate change requirements.

The committee’s chairman, GOP Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, said in a statement that the bill, which will set agriculture, food, commodities and conservation policies for the next five years, is “the product of extensive feedback from stakeholders and all members of the House and responds to farm needs by incorporating hundreds of bipartisan policies.

The legislation funds programs in 12 titles for five years.

Among other things, it would boost rural agriculture, promote a fresh global market where farmers could sell their products abroad, require fresh reporting requirements for foreign purchases of farmland, escalate funding for specialty crops and expand eligibility for disaster relief.

“Markup is one step in a broader process in the House of Representatives that should not be disrupted by misleading arguments, false narratives or edicts from the Senate,” Thompson said.

The House Agriculture Committee plans to label 942-page bill Thursday. This is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years. You can find a summary title by title Here.

In a statement, the top Democrat on the committee, Republican David Scott of Georgia, sharply criticized the bill for “taking food out of the mouths of hungry American children and limiting farmers from receiving the environmental protection funds they so desperately need, and prohibiting USDA from providing financial assistance to farmers in times of crisis.” “

Scott cautioned that the current bill is unlikely to pass the House. Although Republicans have a slim majority, any legislation will need to be bipartisan to make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The current farm bill extension expires on September 30.

On the Senate side, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Agriculture Committee, slowed down your own proposal at the beginning of May. Among other things, it would expand eligibility for low-income people’s nutrition programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Stabenow published a summary of the bill, but not the legislative text.

Scott and Stabenow issued a joint statement Tuesday after meeting with House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee. They advocated for Republicans to craft a bipartisan farm bill.

“House Republicans are undermining this goal by proposing policies that divide the broad, bipartisan coalition that has always been the foundation of a successful farm bill,” they wrote.

“We need a farm bill that holds the coalition together and upholds the historic tradition of providing food assistance to the most vulnerable Americans, while maintaining our commitment to our farmers fighting the impacts of the climate crisis every day,” they continued.

The House bill includes several provisions that Democrats oppose.

About $13 billion in climate-smart policy requirements could be removed through conservation projects funded by the Inflation Control Act. Another would limit future updates to the Thrifty Food Plan, the formula that calculates SNAP benefits. “The economic impact of SNAP cuts alone would be staggering,” Scott said.

Freezing the Thrifty Food Plan would result in approximately $30 billion in SNAP cuts over the next decade. According to to the liberal Center on Budget and Political Priorities. More than 41 million people receive SNAP benefits according to the US Department of Agriculture.

However, the House farm bill would end the ban on SNAP benefits for low-income Americans with drug-related convictions.

Environmental groups also oppose the farm bill, raising concerns about the reallocation of IRA money and the bill’s inclusion of how states regulate animal practices.

A watchdog group that focuses on government and corporate accountability over water, food and corporate overreach, Food & Water Watch managing director of policy and litigation Mitch Jones, said in a statement that the bill would gut essential climate-friendly provisions.

“Some of the more dangerous proposals from leaders would set us back on animal welfare and climate-smart agriculture,” Jones said. “It’s time for Congress to put the culture wars aside and get back to work on a farm bill that puts consumers, farmers and the environment above politicking and donations to Big Ag.”

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