Dueling farm bill plans reveal big House, Senate divide

By Marc Heller | 05/02/2024 06:44 AM EDT

Frameworks released by the Senate and House Agriculture chairs hint at political fights to come.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) arrives for a vote at the U.S. Capitol.

Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) released a detailed proposal for the five-year farm bill Wednesday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on a new farm bill, as the parties released their own dueling proposals Wednesday. The partisan split threatens to sink the five-year legislation.

In the Senate, Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) released a detailed framework — but not bill text — outlining how the majority Democrats there would keep farm policy focused on combating climate change and preserving nutrition programs for low-income families.

In the House, Agriculture Chair Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) put forth a less detailed set of clues about the forthcoming bill, promising conservation policies less focused on the climate but still expanded compared to the last farm bill in 2018.


Thompson promised a May 23 markup in committee. It could prove to be a partisan affair, given ranking member David Scott’s (D-Ga.) negative reaction Wednesday to the chair’s outline.