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House Farm Bill Text Expected This Week

Politico’s Meredith Lee Hill and Grace Yarrow reported Monday that “another eventful week lies ahead as the House farm bill markup approaches and key players jockey over final policy details. House Ag Chair G.T. Thompson (R-Pa.) released a title-by-title overview of the current House farm bill draft ahead of the upcoming May 23 markup. We’re expecting him to unveil the full bill text around Friday.”

House Committee on Agriculture Farm Bill Overview.

FERN’s Ag Insider reported that “Thompson said ‘my door remains open’ for negotiations despite having drafted a farm bill package that crosses two red lines drawn by Democrats on his committee.”

“‘While the chairman’s mark is near finalized, my door remains open,’ said Thompson in an open letter to U.S. representatives and farm bill stakeholders. ‘It is not one-sided, it does not favor a fringe agenda, and it certainly does no harm to the programs and policies that feed, fuel, and clothe our nation,” FERN’s Ag Insider reported.

More Details of the House Bill

Agri-Pulse’s Philip Brasher, Rebekah Alvey, Steve Davies, and Noah Wicks reported that “Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee are proposing to raise Price Loss Coverage reference prices by 10% to 20% depending on the commodity, while also providing increased income protection to growers under the Agriculture Risk Coverage program and crop insurance, according to a section-by-section summary released Friday.”

“The 38-page summary, which is considerably more detailed than an outline the committee issued May 1, also says the draft bill would provide a one-time opportunity for farmers to obtain acres needed to qualify for payments under the PLC and ARC programs,” Brasher, Alvey, Davies and Wicks reported. “The update would be determined by plantings from 2019 through 2023. The ARC guarantee would be increased from 86% to 90% of benchmark revenue, under the draft bill. The maximum payment rate would be raised from 10% to 12.5%.”

“The draft bill also would sweeten crop insurance options for farmers by boosting premium subsidies on the Supplemental Coverage Option from 65% to 80% and raise the top coverage level from 86% to 90%,” Brasher, Alvey, Davies and Wicks reported. “As expected, the bill also would bring Inflation Reduction Act conservation funding into the bill, remove the restrictions that limit that money to being used for climate-smart practices, and help pay for modifications to the Conservation Reserve Program, reauthorize funding for feral swine eradication, and create a new Forest Conservation Easement Program.”

Brasher, Alvey, Davies and Wicks reported that “the draft bill’s nutrition title would assign a ‘cost neutral process’ to determine future updates to the Thrifty Food Plan, the economic model used to estimate the cost of food and set SNAP benefits. The updates would continue to consider food prices, consumption patterns and dietary guidance, according to the summary. Democrats have pushed back against this provision, arguing it would unfairly cut future benefits.”

Funding Remains Key Issue for Farm Bill

While the full text of the House version of the Farm Bill is set to be released, Hill and Yarrow reported that “a partisan struggle over limited new funding is at the center of the congressional logjam on the $1.5 trillion reauthorization. Democrats have balked at Thompson’s plans to pay for the farm bill, which include restricting the Agriculture secretary’s authority over USDA’s internal Commodity Credit Corporation and limiting future updates to the Thrifty Food Plan. Thompson also plans to reinvest some of that money in nutrition programs.”

“Republicans have also questioned whether there’s enough money to pay for Stabenow’s (Senate) farm bill proposal, since she hasn’t released CBO scores or the full bill text. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas, the top Republican on the Senate Ag Committee, told MA last week that he estimated Stabenow’s plans would require an additional $20 billion in funding. A Stabenow spokesperson said the bill is paid for with the $5 billion in additional funding she has told senators in recent months that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is taking from the Finance Committee for the farm bill. Again, it’s hard to know for sure until there’s full bill text.”

Ryan Hanrahan is the Farm Policy News editor and social media director for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked in local news, primarily as an agriculture journalist in the American West. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri (B.S. Science & Agricultural Journalism). He can be reached at

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