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Top House Ag Republican Wants Enhanced Safety Net

The top Republican on the House Ag Committee wants a stronger safety net for U.S. farmers. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) wants Congress to strengthen crop insurance and farm subsidy programs so producers don’t have to rely on stop-gap federal aid to survive challenges like trade wars, natural disasters, and COVID-19.

Almost 80 percent of federal agriculture funding has moved through bailout programs since 2018. Farm groups want higher reference prices, a factor in calculating subsidy payments, and more protection under the federal crop insurance program. Some industry experts say a status-quo farm bill is possible because of the small majorities in the House and Senate and a potential lack of new funding sources for the farm bill.

Thompson will likely become the committee chair in January when Republicans become the majority party in the House.