A key Senate lawmaker says the ongoing debate about raising the debt ceiling and a lack of farm bill legislative text should not prevent lawmakers from getting the 2023 bill done on time.

Discussions about extending the provisions of the 2018 farm bill would take “the pressure off of Congress to do its job in a timely fashion,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R- Kan., said on Agri-Pulse Newsmakers this week. 

"I would not go down the path of an extension at this point," he said. 

A discussion Thursday involving House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and President Joe Biden at the White House was a “good thing,” Moran said. He said he was "sorry it's so late in the process,” but that it's good the administration is "engaged."

The House and Senate Ag committees won’t know the amount of funds they have to work with in the bill until a decision is made on the debt ceiling. 

“We have to know what the overall outcome of the debt ceiling debate is,” Moran said. “Then we can write appropriation bills to those numbers.”

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Following the more than one-hour-long White House meeting, the top Republican on the Senate Ag committee, Sen. John Boozman, R- Ark., told Agri-Pulse it was “very, very cordial.” The group plans to meet again in the “not-too-distant future,” Boozman said. 

Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, also joined the Newsmakers panel, saying the farm bill process “is being held up right now because of the debt ceiling. It's taking all of the oxygen out of Washington D.C."

Goule added that in the last week discussions have begun to push the Sept. 30 farm bill deadline to the end of the year. He said it would be a “very calculated risk” to pursue a farm bill during a presidential election year in 2024. 

The national politics of pursuing the legislation in 2024 could “really steer the farm bill in a direction that maybe is not helpful to the U.S. farmers and ranchers,” he said. 

Chelsea Good with the Livestock Marketing Association also joined the show to discuss uniform farm bill priorities from the beef cattle industry and the impact of drought on livestock producers in the High Plains. 

This week’s episode of Agri-Pulse Newsmakers is available at Agri-Pulse.com

For more news, go to www.Agri-Pulse.com.