USDA secretary criticizes house GOP farm bill nutrition cuts

May 23, 2024


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has expressed strong reservations about the farm bill draft presented by House Republicans. He highlighted potential negative impacts on coalition support and delays in advancing the legislation.

Vilsack's concerns primarily revolve around proposed cuts to nutrition programs, particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He emphasized the importance of maintaining support for these programs within the coalition necessary for passing the bill.

Additionally, Vilsack criticized aspects of the bill related to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), suggesting limitations on USDA's ability to respond to agricultural challenges. He indicated a preference for a farm bill proposal put forth by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow.

In response, House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn "GT" Thompson defended the bill's provisions, emphasizing its investments in agriculture and fiscal responsibility. He dismissed criticisms as attempts to undermine progress on the legislation.

The debate surrounding the farm bill underscores the complexity of agricultural policy and the diverse interests at stake. As discussions continue, finding common ground will be essential to passing legislation that addresses the needs of farmers and supports vital nutrition programs.

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