At a time in Washington where agriculture has seen its interests cast aside by President Trump’s trade agenda, lawmakers and lobbyists are preparing to authorize the 2018 Farm Bill ,which is set to expire by September 30, 2018.
The politics of the midterm elections are expected to apply added pressure to lawmakers with rural and agricultural districts who will not want to upset voters with an underfunded Farm Bill. The House Agriculture Committee wrote a letter to the House Budget Committee this week requesting no more cuts to Farm Bill programs.
Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) released a statement accompanying the letter and he points out “Net farm income is down to the lowest level in 12 years… in the midst of a very tenuous agriculture economy, we need the flexibility to craft a budget-neutral Farm Bill that benefits producers and consumers alike.”
Agriculture Chairmen and Ranking Members in both houses of Congress are promising a Farm Bill that will closely resemble the final product of the 2014 Farm Bill but critics argue these programs will not be enough to address rural and agricultural America’s economic woes.