February 29, 2020

Sec. Vilsack Discusses Farm Bill

Categories: Farm Bill

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says that the farm bill – either passing or not – sends a message to the rest of the country about governing. He discusses the bill, Hillary Clinton and Gov. Chris Christie in this episode of Capital Download with Susan Page.

Update: See also this related article by Susan Page.


Farm Bill; Ag Economy (Biofuels); and, Immigration

Farm Bill Issues

Mary Kay Thatcher, the Senior Director of Congressional Relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, was a guest on yesterday’s AgriTalk radio program with Mike Adams where the discussion focused on the Farm Bill.  An unofficial transcript of yesterday’s discussion is available here.

Ms. Thatcher pointed out that, “I was hoping that we could have some good news to share this morning, but I think we’re going to continue to work at it. Staff’s up there working hard today, even though the members aren’t around, and the four principals are presumably still having some kind of conference call to further discuss it today. So we still have some hope that, indeed, by the end of the year or by the middle of January, when we have this budget bill, that we can have it done, but we aren’t there today, and I can’t even tell you exactly what progress has been made.”

In a related update, Erik Wasson reported yesterday at The Hill’s On the Money Blog that, “The top leaders of the House-Senate farm bill conference committee plan to hold a pivotal conference call on Monday.

“Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), the respective heads of the Senate and House Agriculture committees, and the committees’ ranking members Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) will join the negotiating session.

“The ‘big four’ leaders are still trying to hammer out a farm bill deal in order to move the $1 trillion agriculture subsidy, crop insurance and food stamp bill on the House and Senate floor in December.”

And, Mr. Wasson tweeted yesterday evening that, “Conf call by 4 #farmbill lead negotiators happened. Process continues w/ no resolution yet