Washington, DC – The following is a joint statement on the passage of the Farm Bill extension by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Task Force Co-chairs Heidi Heitkamp and Saxby Chambliss and the Food and Nutrition Security Task Force Co-chairs Dan Glickman and Ann Veneman:
“Congress passing an extension of the Farm Bill will ensure that the Department of Agriculture can continue to implement existing programs, keeping important benefits flowing to farmers and forest landowners to improve habitat, access, and soil and water quality on private lands. It also enables the administration of critical nutrition programs that help feed low-income Americans.
“While it is reassuring that USDA can implement existing Farm Bill programs for the next 10 months, legislators must be mindful that in the new year, the Congressional Budget Office is likely to begin the process of updating the so-called Farm Bill budget baseline. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have already made considerable progress in drafting their respective versions of the next Farm Bill reauthorization and could move forward to approve those versions early in 2024.
“To facilitate consideration and approval of a Farm Bill reauthorization before the CBO updates the Farm Bill budget baseline, we strongly encourage leadership in the House and Senate to set aside floor time to consider these bills before May 2024. Doing so will enable Congress to review and target taxpayers’ dollars authorized for recipients of the federal feeding programs, empower farmers and forest landowners to implement conservation practices, and ensure a robust economic safety net.”