A House Ag Committee leader says no progress on farm bill in the U.S. House

In a House Ag Committee hearing on Wednesday, Ranking Member David Scott said he’s concerned about the lack of bipartisanship and progress on a new farm bill following the committee’s approval in late May.

“I had a word with Speaker Johnson. My feeling is Speaker Johnson won’t bring this bill to the floor for a vote, because it wasn’t written as a serious bill. It was written to be used as a campaign slogan,” says Scott.

Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson has previously said the bill is expected to be considered in the full House in September. But Scott said the bill needs to be brought to the floor for a vote soon, because time is running out to pass a bill. Thompson told Scott “there’s a lot I could say, but I’m not going to say anything.”

The House Ag Committee’s farm bill passed out of committee in late May on a slight bipartisan vote. A farm bill requires a simple majority, at least 218 votes, to pass the full U.S. House.

In an interview with Brownfield, U.S. Congressman Dusty Johnson from South Dakota said there’s been no recent tally of support for the legislation.

“If we’re going to get a farm bill done before the end of the year, we’ll need a lot more than just votes in the House, we’re going to need a work product in the Senate and votes in the Senate. We’ll need to go to conference committee to work out the differences and there will be differences.”

Former Committee Chairman and U.S. Congressman Frank Lucas from Oklahoma said in Wednesday’s hearing committee leadership must be patient with the farm bill process.

“I would note for the historical record, many times the (farm bill) challenges in my 30 years on this committee hasn’t come within the committee, but dealing with leadership and outside groups. If we can’t pull together as we have in the past, I’m concerned about where we go.”

U.S. Congressman Jim Costa from California said “I think we all pray we can come together on a farm bill before the end of the year.”

The current farm bill expires on September 30.

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