House Ag Committee chair pushing Farm Bill along

Getting a Farm Bill passed by the House of Representatives in December is still in the cards, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, told the audience today during the opening session of the American Bankers Association’s 71st Agricultural Bankers Conference in Oklahoma City. When asked how having Mike Johnson (R-La.) elected as speaker of the House will affect the Farm Bill reauthorization, Thompson quickly replied: “We’re gonna get a Farm Bill done, is what it means.”

Thompson said, however, that an extension will still be necessary until the Senate and others finish their work on Farm Bill. “We were always going to have the need for some sort of a long-term extension—even if we had passed a Farm Bill back in September, because the Senate has to do a Farm Bill and we have to go to conference to reconcile House and Senate versions,” Thompson said. He added that he has visited more than 38 states and conducted more than 85 Farm Bill listening sessions in the last two years and 10 months. “And then the USDA still needs time to line things up with provisions of what’s coming together as a highly effective bill.”

The House’s extension language is being scored right now by the Congressional Budget Office and it would extend current Farm Bill version through the end of the fiscal year, Thompson said, adding that he would “love an early Christmas present” by getting the extension and new bill language to the House floor. “My goal is to do one as quickly as we can.”