January 20, 2020

Farm Bill; Trade; Ag Economy; Food Safety; and EPA

Farm Bill: Budget Issues- Potential for Mixed Incentives in Agriculture Deal Making

Robert Pear reported in today’s New York Times that, “Republicans and Democrats maneuvered for advantage on Wednesday in the next battle over federal spending, trying to influence the choice of members and frame the agenda for a powerful ‘supercommittee’ that is supposed to recommend at least $1.5 trillion of additional deficit reduction measures…Congressional leaders have two weeks to name panel members. Names of candidates were circulating Wednesday on Capitol Hill, and some lawmakers have been quietly promoting themselves or their friends for spots on the 12-member panel, which will consist of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats from the House and the Senate.”

The Times article pointed out that, “Congressional leaders say this panel has a better chance than many of its predecessors because the debt deal creates a strong incentive for bipartisan agreement: If the committee fails to agree or to win approval for a plan from the House and the Senate, the government will automatically cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years from hundreds of military and nonmilitary programs, biting deeply into the priorities of both parties.”

Nonetheless, in an interview yesterday with, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) indicated that the incentives stemming from automatic cuts may not necessarily provide a clear impetus for deal making- particularly in the case of some aspects of Farm Bill spending.