The government shutdown and its aftermath is likely to continue taking a toll on agriculture, including efforts to write a new farm bill.
The loss of trust is an obvious casualty of the government shutdown, and will be in its aftermath, as lawmakers struggle to craft a long-term budget solution, along with a “fix” for illegal child immigration, passing disaster aid and writing a new farm bill.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell was ahead of votes Monday on a short-term plan to reopen the government for at least the next three-weeks.
American Farm Bureau budget adviser RJ Karney discusses the situation.
Ag lawmakers have privately lamented the difficulty in writing a new farm bill without budget certainty. Reauthorizing farm law depends on knowing how much money’s available to work with. More than three-dozen farm bill programs now lack baseline funding.
Karney says the Senate’s already rejected a House disaster measure that also helps fix problems with the dairy insurance and cotton programs, key for a new farm bill. The shutdown has delayed those efforts.
But, negotiations on further spending, a DACA child immigration “fix” and the president’s demand for border-wall funding and other restrictions on immigration, will take at least several more weeks, eating up the farm bill clock, further.
One exasperated ag senator argues it’s time to stop “horsing around,” and get to work on the ’18 farm bill, even if it means simply starting on policy, until the ag committees have actual numbers to work with.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.