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Ranking member details Republican farm bill frameworking

The ranking member of the U.S. Senate Ag Committee says the Republican farm bill framework provides the safety net and risk management tools farmers need.

Senator John Boozman of Arkansastells Brownfield the safety nets currently in place aren’t working. “This is a generational situation,” he says. “We’ve got input cost through the roof and if you look at the charts, commodity prices have fallen and sadly are predicted to continue that trend.”

He says the farm bill needs a reset. “The tremendous amount of inflation that our farmers have experienced,” he says.  “They simply are in this situation where we have a 2018 farm bill that we’re working under that data actually came about in 2012.”

Boozman says the nutrition title cost has increased 85 percent since the last farm bill and proposed reforms wouldn’t take away access. “If you just look at the overpayment and nutrition, it is about $95 billion,” he says. “The entire crop insurance program, the underpinning of our safety net program is only $101 billion over 10 years. You know there’s lots of ways to look at this and find some additional dollars to pay for this.”

Boozman says he’s optimistic a farm bill can get finished this year – but says it won’t be easy. “With the election, there’s just not a lot of days left working days in Congress until the next election,” he says. “So, the lame duck, a lot of stuff is going to get done. I think we’ve got a good chance of getting this done then.”

Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow says the framework was a welcomed development.  She says the two will build on the areas where there is common ground and work to find bipartisan compromise in the other areas to advance the legislation.  

Boozman says his framework builds upon the bipartisan bill that was passed out of the U.S. House Ag Committee.  Stabenow says the House proposal splits the farm bill coalition and makes significant cuts to the family safety net millions of Americans rely on and abandons progress that has been made to address the climate crisis. She says the framework also proposes spending in excess of available funding.

AUDIO: Senate Ag Committee ranking member John Boozman, Arkansas

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