‘Urgency, Predictability and Certainty’—the words heard over and over again at the first formal and maybe only public House-Senate farm bill negotiating session, as future talks head into private sessions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it perhaps more poignantly than even the two Ag chairs and ranking members.
Current law expires at the end of the month as the political clock ticks down to November, and as farmers face a predicted 13-percent drop in net farm income this year.
Getting a bipartisan bill is a heavy lift given big differences over SNAP food stamp work requirements, farm manager payment limits and eligibility requirements, ARC and PLC, and conservation programs CRP, CSP, and EQIP.
Senators including McConnell, Roberts and Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow reminded their House colleagues of the largest ever, 86-11 Senate farm bill vote. The House bill passed only on a second try, and only by a 2-vote margin, with no support from Democrats.