Late Legislation: Texas A&M expert says we may not get a Farm Bill until 2025

Texas A&M‘s Ag & Food Policy Chief, Dr. Joe Outlaw, predicts lawmakers may not draft a new Farm Bill until 2025, missing the first deadline by nearly two years.

According to Texas A&M University ag policy expert, Dr. Joe Outlaw, there is a high likelihood lawmakers will not produce new Farm Bill legislation until well into next year, in 2025. Dr. Outlaw says, lawmakers still have months of work ahead to write, pass, and enact a Farm Bill.

“There’s a little bit of rumblings that they want to get it done in 2024. I don’t expect it to be done in 2024 unless something wild happens after the election — and even then, if the House or Senate flips, it’s going to be enough change that I don’t think it will happen early in 2025, either.”
Dr. Joe Outlaw, Texas A&M’s Ag & Food Policy Chief

Outlaw, an Agricultural Economics professor & Co-Director of the Texas A&M Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) advises both parties on the House and Senate Ag Committees. The shortest legislative process Outlaw has witnessed took nine months. Now, two months into this year, Washington is already consumed with political dysfunction and the presidential election.

Crafting this all-encompassing and expensive piece of ag legislation has already been a contentious and lengthy process. Lawmakers missed their original deadline back in September 2023, mired in debate over funding concerns, and then tabled the bill to focus on other measures needed to fund the government before the holidays. He predicts the looming presidential election in November will serve as the newest distraction for lawmakers, and extend the timeline of the Farm Bill even further.

Stakeholders across the industry are urging Congress to pass a new Farm Bill, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Ryan Yates, managing director of government affairs for the AFBF, says that it is difficult, especially with crop insurance.

“We don’t see a ‘one or the other’ type of an approach. I think that would be a mistake to have to give up one risk management program for another. I think that would be a problem.”
Ryan Yates, AFBF Managing Director of Government Affairs

Sparks are still flying across party lines in terms of funding. Many Republicans still want to see SNAP cuts on the table while Democrats are standing their ground when it comes to essential entitlements as well as thoughts of culling climate funding for farm programs.

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