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House Ag begins farm bill efforts

National Pork Board hog barn as seen through cornfield
Legislative Watch: Priorities include helping producers combat dramatic changes in weather patterns; Republicans named to House Ag Committee; WOTUS lawsuit.

The House Agriculture Committee held a farm bill listening session at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last Saturday with nine members of the committee attending. The listening session heard from stakeholders on the issues that need to be addressed and farm bill priorities. The stakeholders represented commodity organizations, land grant universities, food banks, etc.

The committee plans to hold hearings in Washington, D.C. and additional listening sessions around the country. The Senate Agriculture Committee plans to hold hearings on all 12 titles of the farm bill in the coming months. 

Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-PA) said the House plans to move its farm bill ahead of the Senate. A major issue for this year's farm bill will be funding.

Also, last week, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott (D-GA) released his priorities for the 2023 farm bill. 

Scott said in a press release, "The feedback we received both here in Washington, DC, and across the country has developed my key priorities as now ranking member, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on defining our shared priorities for the 2023 farm bill."

Priorities are:

  • Expand rural broadband.
  • Make the 1890 Land Grant African American College and Universities Student Scholarship Program permanent and add an additional $100 million in funding.
  • Assist small family cattle farmers and ranchers.  
  • Defend and protect SNAP and our nutrition programs.
  • Help producers combat dramatic changes in weather patterns and climateIncrease available technical assistance for conservation programs.

Republicans named to House Ag Committee
House Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-PA) announced the 27 Republican members that will be serving on the House Agriculture Committee for the 118th Congress. 

Members returning to the committee are: Representatives GT Thompson (PA), Austin Scott (GA), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Doug LaMalfa (CA), David Rouzer (NC), Trent Kelly (MS), Don Bacon (NE), Dusty Johnson (SD), Jim Baird (IN), Tracey Mann (KS), Barry Moore (AL), Kat Cammack (FL) and Brad Finstad (MN).

The new members are: Representatives Frank Lucas (OK), John Rose (TN), Ronny Jackson (TX), Mark Alford (MO), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR), Monica De La Cruz (TX), John Duarte (CA), Nick Langworthy (NY), Max Miller (OH), Marc Molinaro (NY), Zach Nunn (IA) and Derrick Van Orden (WI). 

Only one-third of the members were serving on the committee during the last farm bill. Lucas previously served on the committee and was the chairman during the 2014 farm bill.

The Democrats are expected to name members of the committee in the near future.

WOTUS lawsuit
A coalition of 18 agriculture, housing, infrastructure, petroleum and others filed a lawsuit against the EPA challenging the Biden administration's new Waters of the U.S. rule that redefines the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said, "the new rule is vague and creates uncertainty for America's farmers, even if they're miles from the nearest navigable water. We believe a judge will recognize these regulations exceed the scope of the Clean Water Act, and direct EPA to develop rules that enable farmers to protect natural resources while ensuring they can continue stocking America's pantries."

Those filing the lawsuit include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Petroleum Institute, General Contractors of America, National Association of Home Builders, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Mining Association, National Pork Producers Council and U.S. Poultry and Egg Association.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas in Galveston.


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