WASHINGTON, DC | The $428 billion Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-334) – more commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill – is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2023, impacting virtually every part of the agriculture sector and rural America. The U.S. agriculture community, food producers and processors, and state, local, tribal, and federal officials have turned their attention to the Farm Bill's reauthorization, which will have significant implications for commodities, on-farm conservation programs, nutrition, rural development and energy, crop insurance and farm finance, and more. As they approach the end of the 1st session of the 118th Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry have signaled an active fourth quarter 2023 agenda that will involve negotiating and drafting efforts mostly behind closed-doors in order to reach agreements that lead to Committee markups and facilitate floor passage of Farm Bill reauthorization legislation, more likely sometime in the first half of 2024 than by the end of 2023. Below is a roundup of recent Congressional developments and upcoming events the committees are working on.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 23, 2023
- The Senate Committee on Agriculture does not have any scheduled hearings this week.
- The House Committee on Agriculture does not have any scheduled hearings this week.
- The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health will have their Monthly Update Call on Tuesday, October 24, you can RSVP here.
ICYMI – WEEK OF OCTOBER 16, 2023
- Getting a new speaker may not clear hurdles to agriculture bills. On October 19, Roll Call reported that the House Agriculture Committee is remaining committed to their goal of delivering a final Farm Bill by December 31 despite internal conflicts. Chairman of the Committee, Glenn Thompson (R-PA) said he would like to release text in November if a new speaker has been elected. In the other chamber of Congress, Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) suggested Congress should move a one-year extension of the 2018 farm bill as soon as November to give lawmakers more time to write a new farm bill.
- House Agriculture Democrats Fight Back on Cuts to Conservation Funding. On October 23, all Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee wrote to Chair Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member David Scott (D-Ga.) urging that the nearly $20 billion of conservation funding passed in the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) be used only for its intended purpose in the upcoming Farm Bill. The Democratic lawmakers said the IRA “was intended to go towards climate smart conservation, and it would ultimately be a disservice to American farmers should these funds go elsewhere.”