While the House attempts to replace recently removed Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who dared bring a bipartisan bill to the table that temporarily prevented a government shutdown, the recently expired farm bill sits in limbo.
National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the turmoil means there are some in the House majority, with a no compromise attitude, that keep anything from getting done.
“There are folks in the House who think that if they don’t get 100 percent of their somewhat volatile demands for various policy changes, then they have to stop the whole process and get rid of speakers and all the other things. That’s an incredibly destructive way to view a really important institution. And then the Farm Bill, yeah, it has expired. It expired on midnight September 30th and that’s another huge spending bill that is obviously going to receive objection from some of these real hard-liners in the House.”
So, the question is will there be an extension of the current farm bill.
“The danger in that to me is, we’ve done that with other pieces of legislation and the calculation at the time, when it begins, is this is going to be a short-term extension. In an increasingly competitive global environment for agriculture it is a terrible path to start down. And I think everybody in agriculture has to be pounding the tables saying folks need to get their houses in order. We need to get people here who can actually make a deal.”
Amid the chaos, Quarles says nobody wins in the long run.
“You know, the big winners in this, to the extent there are winners? It’s our global adversaries. It’s people who wish the United States ill. They love this chaos. They love to see us fumbling the ball all over the field.”