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Senate Ag Republicans prep their own farm bill framework

BY: MEREDITH LEE HILL | 01/17/2024 02:16 PM EST

Senate Agriculture Committee Republicans are crafting their own framework for the next farm bill that they’re planning to release in the coming months, as a way to lay out their vision for the roughly $1.5 trillion package and hammer out negotiations with Senate Democrats amid an impasse over key policy and funding priorities.

Limited new funding this farm bill season has proven to be a major source of conflict in the bipartisan farm bill talks and has sparked intense jockeying between Republicans and Democrats over competing policy priorities. The Senate GOP plan, notably, will aim to boost both crop insurance and crop reference prices — a key GOP demand, according to two people familiar with the plans who were granted anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has focused her farm safety net efforts largely on expanding crop insurance, rather than raising reference prices.

The current farm bill extension expires Sept. 30.

A spokesperson for the Senate Agriculture Committee’s top Republican, John Boozman (R-Ark.), said Republicans are continuing to talk with senators from both sides of the aisle about the massive legislation, and Boozman “intends to put ideas on paper” about how lawmakers can meet the needs of all the titles of the farm bill.

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