WASHINGTON — In a recent letter to new House Speaker Mike Johnson, 60 fellow Republicans called for the passage of the new farm bill.
The letter expressed the importance of the federal legislation.
“Simply put, farm and food security is national security,” lawmakers wrote. “For a mere one-fifth of one percent of federal spending, the farm safety net, including commodity support programs and crop insurance, provides farmers and ranchers the foundation they need to manage risk, pass their farm or ranch down to the next generation, and continue producing the highest quality, lowest cost food, fuel, fiber and forestry products in the world.”
The legislators stated that more than 92% of the US planted acres are in districts represented by Republican members. They also noted that during 2022, the food and agriculture sectors contributed $7.4 trillion in economic activity, which included creating 43 million jobs, $2.3 trillion in wages, $718 in tax revenue and $183 billion in exports.
“Americans today enjoy the safest, most abundant and affordable food supply in the world,” Republican lawmakers wrote. “And we accomplish this despite a global market that is awash in high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs and other predatory, non-tariff barriers to free and fair trade. Farm country has also faced serious challenges straining the food supply chain throughout the last several years, including impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, weather-related disaster, and skyrocketing input costs, underscoring the importance of the Farm Bill.”
Representative Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) led the push on this letter as he represents the second-largest agricultural production district in the country.
“The Farm Bill is must-pass legislation that supports our producers, protects our food security, and benefits our rural communities,” Feenstra said. “From strengthening crop insurance and opening new export markets to defending our farms from animal disease outbreaks and equipping our farmers with cutting-edge precision agriculture technologies, I am working to include priorities vital to Iowa’s agricultural community in the Farm Bill. I’m proud to work with my Republican colleagues to convey to Speaker Johnson the importance of the Farm Bill — and its swift passage — to rural America.”
Even before Kevin McCarthy was removed as Speaker of the House, members of the House Agriculture Committee expressed concerns about passing a new Farm Bill back in August.
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