Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack pushed back against Republican criticism of spending under the SNAP program and from the Commodity Credit Corp. at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing Thursday focused on the farm bill.
With a new farm bill enacted and trade wars ongoing, the eyes of U.S. agriculture will shift to the Senate Finance Committee, where farm groups will have a critical ally at the top in new Chairman Chuck Grassley and several more in the panel’s membership.
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee have agreed to include tougher commodity program eligibility rules proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in the farm bill the Senate is debating this week.
The House and Senate Agriculture committees are setting up a likely battle over commodity payment limits after their respective farm bills get out of their respective chambers. The outcome could be a stalemate that leaves existing law in place.
A new bipartisan Senate proposal to reform USDA’s three largest conservation programs departs sharply from what is expected to be in the House farm bill while putting an emphasis on protecting water quality.
President Trump takes another stab this week at settling a biofuel policy dispute that has embroiled a key USDA nominee, and his administration will step up its defense of proposals to clamp down on federal nutrition assistance.