The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee insisted on a broad-scale reprogramming of agricultural funding as the price for agreement on the new farm bill on Wednesday. Chairman Glenn Thompson suggested $50 billion in cuts, mostly to climate change and public nutrition programs, earlier this fall to pay for larger spending on crop subsidies.
“These ideas have been applauded and demonized but I will not relent,” said the Pennsylvania Republican at a “member day” hearing held by the Agriculture Committee. Democrats on the committee have rejected Thompson’s suggestions to divert $20 billion given to USDA conservation programs for climate mitigation by the 2022 climate, healthcare, and tax law.
Because of the impasse in drafting the new farm bill, Congress has extended the life of the 2018 farm bill to next Sept. 30. “However, significant headwinds exist,” said Thompson, pointing to insufficient funding and political polarization. “It will be virtually impossible to create a robust and resilient farm bill without significant investment.”
To watch a video of the hearing, click here.