House Markup of Farm Bill to Begin Thursday

The markup for House Ag Committee Chair GT Thompson’s farm bill will move ahead on Thursday despite scores from the Congressional Budget Office that raise questions.

The CBO says the scores provided don’t amount to offsets that would allow the bill to be budget-neutral. That term means it wouldn’t cost more than the current spending level. The Fence Post says Thompson believes the committee should still go through the process even though the bill isn’t fully offset.

One of Thompson’s aides pointed out that the CBO won’t provide a formal score until after the committee votes on the bill and moves it to the House floor for action. The CBO will revise the baseline in June, meaning the entire bill would have to get rewritten under the new baseline, which could take months.

Agriculture groups continue to react to the House Ag Committee’s farm bill ahead of Thursday’s markup. The National Corn Growers Association says many of the recommendations in the bill written by Ag Committee Chair GT Thompson would be an improvement upon existing programs for the nation’s corn growers. The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) says several of its recommendations are included that will help their industries achieve their climate mitigation potential while preserving and creating new economic opportunities.

The American Farm Bureau says the House farm bill includes much-needed investment in the farm safety net, including making crop insurance more affordable. The Farm Credit Council applauds the legislation for including bipartisan credit provisions that would make it simpler and less expensive for beginning farmers to get the financing they need. The American Sheep Industry also says the bill is favorable in helping its producers manage risk.