House Ag top Republican, and possible next chair of the Ag committee Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, spoke about the next farm bill and other issues with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on its “Beltway Beef” podcast.
Thompson is already entertaining the possibility of assuming the Ag chairmanship, eight months ahead of mid-term elections. “If things would flip and we would become in the majority, I’m looking forward to bringing all members, encouraging all members, Republicans and Democrats, be able to make visits to feedlots and processing sites, because you learn so much doing that, and that’s always been a part of the farm bill process.”
Which Thompson argues, needs to be speeded up. “We’ve got a deadline, when this current farm bill expires, and that’s September 30, 2023.”
And Thompson is already highlighting differences with Democrats. “We don’t need a climate change title in the farm bill, and I’ll be honest with you, what we need to do, is give credit to American ranchers, farmers, foresters, for what they do. For too long, there’s been a bullseye right on the back of all these folks, these families that work so hard to provide us food and fiber, that says ‘climate criminal.’ And that’s just, it’s so wrong.”
Thompson credits producers for a cleaner environment, and says crop and livestock insurance, greatly expanded since 2018, will be a top priority of his, while new mandates like cattle price negotiating, won’t.
“And you have to always be worried about unintended consequences…and that’s one of the issues with these mandates. When the affected industry doesn’t quite agree on the exact problem, defining the problem—first of all—or the extent of the problem, then it really becomes even more difficult to find that silver bullet or solution, by way of a government program or a mandate.”
But Thompson defends the Ag Committee’s bipartisan reputation, pointing to consensus on other issues, including a cattle contract library, rural broadband and WHIP-plus.