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Bost says farm bill extension is better than falling short on vital programs

Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill is top of mind for the ag industry as Congress prepares to return from August recess.

House Ag Committee member Mike Bost of Illinois tells Brownfield they also have 12 appropriations bills to work through, but he says Chairman Glen “GT” Thompson has made it clear that farmers will remain top priority for the committee.

“He wants to put nothing at risk as far as the security of our farmers. If something isn’t finished in a timely manner, we will put an extension in place so that they can continue to work under the existing farm bill while we’re working on this.”

Bost says negotiating work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has been a challenge.

“If you’re over the age of 18 and under the age of 55, you’re healthy, you don’t have a mental disability or a physical disability, you’re not pregnant and you don’t have children under six then you should be looking for work 20 hours a week or working 20 hours a week. Because really, the SNAP program is supposed to be a  hand up, not a hand out. It’s supposed to be something that your family doesn’t stay on generationally. It is something that should be of help until you can find work, if you’re able to work. But it’s going to be a bloodbath because the far left doesn’t want the work requirements and then the far right doesn’t want giveaway programs and somehow we’ve got to try to find a situation where we can get enough votes on it to get it across the finish line.”

When asked if he thinks the debate will delay passage of the farm bill Bost says, “My hope is that it doesn’t, but I also know that place and I know that getting everybody to agree is always, always, always a challenge because there’s some people that will move the goal post every time.”

Bost says Thompson is confident the farm bill will pass out of the House by the September 30th deadline. The House is scheduled to reconvene on September 12th.

Audio: Interview with Representative Mike Bost during the 2023 Farm Progress Show

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