February 25, 2020

Farm Bill Issues and the 2012 Drought

Yesterday’s Need-to-Know Daily Email from National Journal stated that, “The time left for a House vote on the farm bill is waning, and it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that there will be action on it until after the August recess. When asked whether leadership was keeping a tally on who supports and opposes the measure, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters he had ‘not whipped anything on it.’ Instead, he said, leadership is still in the process of ‘educating’ the caucus. Since the bill could cost almost $500 billion over five years, many Republicans will not vote for it, and McCarthy acknowledged that they still ‘have an uphill battle’ in getting it passed. ‘When we have the votes, we’ll move it,’ McCarthy said.”

Following the remarks from Rep. McCarthy, which had been described as a “somewhat confusing account of the exact status of the Farm Bill,” House Deputy Whip Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.) appeared yesterday on “The Daily Rundown” (MSNBC television) and discussed Farm Bill issues with host Chuck Todd.  A portion of this discussion, in which Mr. Todd asked Rep. Cole about issues regarding a House floor vote, and comments made by Rep. McCarthy, can be heard here (MP3- 1:54).

Meanwhile, David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico that, “Having blocked the pending five-year farm bill, House Republican leaders now appear to be racing ahead of their own Agriculture Committee to come up with some alternative to protect the party’s farm state candidates during the upcoming August recess.

“Disaster aid for livestock producers hard hit by the current drought was one option under discussion Tuesday, as well as a one-year extension of the current law due to expire Sept. 30.”