After years of trial and error, lawmakers have finally arrived at a subsidy program that milk producers can live with, but the dairy industry is heading toward the next farm bill sharply divided over possible reforms to the federal pricing system for milk.
Lawmakers are well into their preparatory hearings for writing the next farm bill. But a veteran Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee suggests the bill’s fate is going to hinge on whether lawmakers come up with more funding for it.
The House is expected to clear a bill this week aimed at ending port bottlenecks and also pass a package of measures that Democrats claim will help bring food, fertilizer and fuel prices under control.
Farm input costs are likely to remain at elevated levels well after commodity prices come off their historic highs, and farm bill programs could provide only limited help, economists warned lawmakers Thursday.
Ballooning cost estimates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are likely to paint a bigger target on the farm bill’s nutrition title heading when lawmakers start drafting the bill in the next Congress.
Nearly a year after the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill aimed at jump-starting ag climate markets, the bill remains mired in the House Agriculture Committee, raising the possibility the legislation could be punted to the farm bill debate in the next Congress.