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Blog | July 18, 2023

The Latest Updates on the 2023 Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is a huge, complex piece of legislation (as our Farm Bill 101 makes clear) and its path through Congress will be filled with twists and turns. We’re closely following this journey, looking at how the proposed bills in the House and Senate will impact farmers, eaters, and residents of rural communities. Over the coming months, Farm Aid will keep this post updated with the latest news on the Farm Bill and opportunities to speak up to improve it.

July 18

Congress heads into last session before August recess

On June 22nd, the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2024 agriculture appropriations bill, unanimously and with bipartisan approval. Compared to the House Appropriations Committee bill passed the week prior, this bill did not contain the same deep cuts to spending on research, nutrition, and other important programs. It also did not include the same rider that limited the Packers and Stockyards Act as the House Appropriations bill.

The Senate bill set spending at $500 million more than last year, with increases primarily to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. The next step is for the two chambers of Congress to reconcile, or come to an agreement between the two bills, a process that will likely prove difficult given the vast differences between them and the control that far right Republicans have on the House.

Congress resumes their work this week, which will be their last session before August recess. This will be a final opportunity for legislators to introduce “marker bills,” bills that are not intended to pass, but that allow legislators to put forward their priorities within the Farm Bill and get a feel for their support.

Congress will likely put forward a first draft of the 2023 Farm Bill when they are back in September. Stay tuned for more updates!

May 18

Bill with drastic cuts moves forward

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee passed an agriculture appropriations bill. We were disappointed to see that it drastically cut agricultural funding by 30% ($8.3 billion) for the 2024 fiscal year budget as compared to 2023. This bill passed out of subcommittee along party lines. Next up, the House Appropriations Committee will markup the bill. This step was supposed to occur the week of May 22, but has been delayed due to ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.

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