By Tyson Redpath, The Russell Group
This January, a new Republican majority arrives to the U.S. House of Representatives holding a four-vote majority which is identical to the current House Democratic majority. A flip to GOP control will have only modest policy impacts because the Senate majority will stay in Democratic hands. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration will continue to chart a course for rulemaking and Executive Order action for at least the next two years.
Looming is a desire to restore fiscal discipline and a vote expected later next year on the borrowing limit of the U.S. Treasury, which Congress controls. This so-called ‘debt ceiling’ debate will occur at the same time Congress works to rewrite comprehensive food and agriculture policy in the Farm Bill. The current five-year, Farm Bill authority faces a September 30, 2023 expiration date.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says continuing existing Farm Bill programs will cost almost $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years driven largely by a trillion-dollar nutrition title, which includes spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that makes up nearly 84% of current Farm Bill spending.
California Rice begins this new Farm Bill debate with clear focus on maintaining crop insurance, improved conservation programs that accommodate flooded agriculture greenhouse gas emissions, and a reference price which accounts fully for rising production costs.