Getting farm bills over finish line taking longer
Congress getting a farm bill across the finish line every five years, on time, is a goal not often reached, “It has been getting harder, it seems, to get these bills done. Not that it was ever easy but there definitely are different types of challenges today than the past. I think this is not unique to agriculture. Almost any major bill is harder to get through Congress today than 10, 20, 30 years ago,” Pat Westhoff, director of the the University of Missouri Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), says there are new players in the process and different strengths are involved which will evolve further with the new Congress.
Concerns about nutrition provisions this year have been an issue and Westhoff tells Brownfield Ag News there have been more things to worry about for Congress to get a bill done this year, but, “Some of the similar dynamics played out in the 2014 Farm Bill debate so I don’t think it’s all that unique. But certainly it is very clear this time around that it’s been the thing that has held up getting the bill done until just recently here.”
House and Senate farm bill leaders reached an agreement in principle last week on a final compromise bill and the 2018 Farm Bill could be filed Monday and voted on next week.
AUDIO: Interview with Pat Westhoff ~
Don’t bring something to the finish line just too get something to the finish line. The last Farm Bill was a complete disaster for the benefit of special interests, insurance companies, and political hacks. Start over and do it right, starting with the people who are actually in Farming.