November 21, 2019

Special Weekend Update: Farm Bill Process Moves Forward

Categories: Farm Bill

David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico that, “The House agreed Friday to begin formal talks with the Senate on a long-delayed farm bill — giving back the reins to Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to try to salvage some compromise after the often destructive, partisan floor fights of the past summer.

“The motion was quickly approved on a simple voice vote after a last political skirmish decided by a 223-189 margin on the rule. Also by a voice vote, lawmakers Friday evening approved a resolution urging House negotiators to support a Senate-passed provision that would trim the level of crop insurance subsidies for wealthy farmers with an adjusted gross income of $750,000 or more.

“The formal naming of the House conferees — expected to number about 22 members — won’t come until Saturday, but Lucas was clearly elated to have this step behind him at last.”


(Udpated) Video: Senators Highlight Blizzard Impacts on Livestock Producers

Categories: Farm Bill

On Wednesday, Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) spoke on the Senate floor about the devastating impact that last weekends blizzard had on South Dakota ranchers and highlighted the importance of passing a clean continuing resolution and a comprehensive farm bill.

Sen. Johnson indicated that, “One of the most significant impacts of the storm has been on my state’s livestock producers. ‘Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday’s blizzard,’ proclaims the Rapid City Journal headline.”

And on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) discussed the impacts of a blizzard that brought devastation to the herds of livestock producers last weekend.

Sen. Heitkamp noted that, “Since last weekend, I’ve heard from ranchers throughout southwestern North Dakota whose cattle herds have been destroyed by the storm. The stories are just devastating. This early storm has cost many of our ranchers so much, and because of the government shutdown and the lack of a Farm Bill, they aren’t able to report their losses, make disaster claims, or get needed assistance.”

“These ranchers are just more collateral damage from the government shutdown and the expiration of the Farm Bill. Because we’re debating whether to fund the federal government or not, Congress isn’t able to work to pass a Farm Bill and focus on many other pressing issues. It’s time for Congress to stop its political bickering and do the right thing – for our ranchers, farmers, and many others who are suffering because of Congress’ inaction.”

And on Friday, Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) also went to the Senate floor to draw attention to the gut-wrenching loss of livestock in western South Dakota due to an early October snowstorm, and highlight the need for Congress to complete its work on a five-year Farm Bill.

Video replays of the floor presentations from Senators Johnson, Heitkamp and Thune are available below: