During the year’s first Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Feb. 1, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) expressed her determination to pass a reauthorized farm bill this year, despite speculation that the current political mood in the House of Representatives might make that goal a challenge.
Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), the committee’s ranking member, echoed the chairwoman’s resolve to pass the bill.
Stabenow said she is “very concerned that the demands being made by many in the new House majority for mandatory budget cuts will result in cuts to all farm bill programs.” After the hearing, however, she told reporters that she, the committee and the nation’s farmers want a farm bill passed this year. “Everybody wants it done,” she said.
She said the money passed for agricultural conservation in the Inflation Reduction Act is for voluntary conservation programs that already have waiting lists. Some Republicans have claimed the money will go for questionable climate change-related efforts, but Stabenow said she is “not in any way interested in rolling back what farmers want on conservation.”
Despite Stabenow’s recent announcement that she planned not to seek reelection, Boozman said he had “no doubt” that the chairwoman will continue to pursue her goals “as determined as ever,” and key to passing the next farm bill.”