Thompson Pushes Back on Dems Farm Bill Attacks

House Ag Chair GT Thompson is pushing back against Democrats’ attacks on his farm bill proposal, set for committee markup this Thursday. Thompson argues his newly named Farm, Food, and National Security Act is bipartisan, despite top House and Senate Ag Democrats multiple claims it isn’t.

Thompson spoke on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Beltway Beef podcast and said “It is built in a bipartisan way, a transparent open process, and we’ve got, I’ve got provisions I put into the chairman’s ‘mark’ that come from both Republicans and Democrats and quite frankly, the industry.”

But top Ag Democrats held a strategy meeting ahead of Thursday’s planned farm bill mark-up that included House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and issued a statement that Thompson didn’t listen to them and undermines the bill’s chances this year. Thompson’s response; “Let’s not bring the politics to the Agriculture Committee, like there are some folks that are trying to do that. Let’s stay on the practical side, the policy side, and get this passed so we can find a pathway to the floor, and quite frankly, provide something, maybe some type of model or example for the Senate to follow.”

But retiring Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow has said repeatedly and publicly that she won’t let her legacy be reducing food stamp benefits to pay for farm programs. Though Thompson and the GOP argue nutrition programs at more than 80 percent of the farm bill need reform and the farm safety net, trade, and research need a boost. Thompson’s hope is that; “I would hope that all members, Republican and Democrat, recognize the urgency, the struggles, and the challenges. It’s almost been unprecedented what our farmers and ranchers have been up against over the past six years.”

Thompson says that urgency also extends to conservation, where the Ag committees need to claim $14 billion in remaining Inflation Reduction Act dollars for the farm bill. Otherwise, that money will be lost forever.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau

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