WASINGTON— U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) said the reckless tax-and-spending deal brokered between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) could serve to undermine critical policies and programs that support farmers, ranchers and rural America.
“When it comes to agriculture policy, this bill sets a particularly bad precedent for farm bill programs. If they go down this road, we very well might be looking at reconciliation as the only way future farm bills get written. Whoever holds the pen wields the fate for vital programs that farmers, ranchers and foresters depend on. Not to mention nutrition programs that help low-income families and policies that allow conservationists to achieve our shared goals,” Boozman said during a speech on the Senate floor.
The top Republican on the Senate agriculture committee continued to take aim for how the process has excluded vital input from important stakeholders and shatters the longstanding traditions of bipartisanship that has led to past successes with previous farm bills.
“We haven’t had a single hearing on this bill, yet its agriculture title spends forty billion dollars—a huge amount allocated with no input from stakeholders, Republicans and, quite frankly, most Democrats,” Boozman said. “We have never written a farm bill in this manner. It is antithetical to how the Senate—and the ag committee in particular—should operate. We have a storied history of working together at the agriculture committee. Our stakeholders value the fact that we approach the issues they face together, rather than as Republicans and Democrats. They appreciate that their voices are heard. Unfortunately, with this decision, the Majority has changed that dynamic.”