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Farm bill devolves into climate chaos

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May 23, 2024
Rep. Glenn Thompson

Thompson in February 2023. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Forget about a bipartisan House farm bill. Brace for a climate food fight.

Why it matters: The IRA is meaningfully on the chopping block for the first time since the debt limit fight, as House Republicans target food stamps and the landmark law at the same time.

Driving the news: The House Agriculture Committee began marking up its five-year farm bill reauthorization on Thursday — and lawmakers on both sides flung accusations that the opposing party refused to negotiate a bipartisan bill.

  • Ag Ranking Member David Scott opened the hearing by announcing his opposition, and said the bill was a purely partisan exercise.
  • "When my Republican friends are ready to return to the path of bipartisanship … we Democrats will be there waiting for them to join with us."
  • Committee Chair Glenn "GT" Thompson said he has tried to craft an agreeable deal. "I will say, I've never left the negotiating table," he remarked at one point. "Sometimes I've sat there alone for a long time, though."
  • Others on the panel disagreed. "One side, or one member, has a windfall in this farm bill, and the rest of this country is left behind," said Connecticut Democrat Jahana Hayes.

Between the lines: Axios has engaged with both sides of the committee since the start of this Congress — and has seen little evidence of this bill ever becoming a bipartisan panacea.

  • Instead, it's been clear House Republicans were most likely going to target the climate law — and that it would always be a non-starter with Democrats.
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