White House farm bill meeting yields few specifics

Four corners committed to bipartisan bill.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

May 12, 2023

1 Min Read
White House farm bill meeting yields few specifics

President Biden hosted agriculture’s highest-ranking government officials at the White House on Thursday to discuss where things stand on the new farm bill. On hand were Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as well the “four corners” of congressional agriculture leaders tasked with getting the bill ironed out. They include House Agriculture Committee Chair GT Thompson, R- Pa., Ranking Member David Scott, D-Ga., Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, D- Mich., and Ranking Member John Boozman, R- Ark.

Remarks following the meeting were cordial but offered few specifics. Late Thursday, the Agriculture Committee leaders issued a joint statement summarizing the discussions.

“Today, the four leaders of the Agriculture Committees had a conversation with President Biden and Secretary Vilsack on the importance of passing a bipartisan Farm Bill this year,” the statement read. “The Farm Bill is a jobs bill. It is a safety net for farmers and consumers, and it is an investment in our rural communities and the health of the American people. The Agriculture Committees have a long tradition of bipartisan cooperation, and we look forward to continuing that tradition through our work on the 2023 Farm Bill.”

Not mentioned in the statement was the looming battle over lifting debt ceiling. The manner in which that issue is resolved has the potential to alter what lawmakers are able to accomplish through the farm bill.

Perhaps something significant was accomplished during the meeting. However, for now the biggest takeaway is that the key players are still talking and say they are committed to a bipartisan solution. In today’s political climate, that’s no small task.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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