Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway wants to bring the farm bill to the full House in the first week of May, emphasizing the need to get the bill done on a timely basis. During Wednesday’s hearing, Ranking Member Collin Peterson called it a “flawed bill,” with most of the criticism centered on the proposed changes to the food stamp program.
Peterson also made the case for increased funding in Title I to help offset low commodity prices. “If there is extra money, I’d like to suggest the money be put into the farm bill on a permanent basis to improve the safety net, in case we get into a continuing low price situation.”
President Trump has promised support for farmers if U.S. agriculture is hurt by a trade war. Peterson said a long-term program makes more sense than ad hoc assistance. “This is a self-inflicted wound we don’t need. If we get into this situation, we don’t need a one-time bailout.” Peterson said decent yields have been the only thing saving farmers in his district after three years of low prices.
RRFN’s Farm Bill Focus is sponsored, in part, by the National Farmers Union.