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Canvass agriculture bill

Hill staffers pessimistic about House Agriculture Committee’s farm bill

Senior Capitol Hill staffers are casting doubt on the prospects of the House Agriculture Committee’s $1.5 trillion farm bill legislation. Our latest survey of top congressional aides found that 40% said their bosses oppose the measure.

The latest farm bill is set to lapse on Sept. 30, a year after its temporary extension.

Still, most senior staffers (60%) who responded to the survey said a five-year farm bill reauthorization is unlikely to pass during this Congress.

The House Agriculture Committee marked up its nearly 1,000-page farm bill at the end of May. We reported last week that House GOP leadership was skeptical the chamber would act on the bill and instead would pass a short-term extension during the lame duck

The GOP-drafted bill has received Democratic opposition over freezes to SNAP payments and changes to environmental and conservation programs.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said the only way to get any kind of farm bill through the Senate is to craft a measure that can get bipartisan support. The retiring Michigan Democrat unveiled her own proposed package of more than 100 related bipartisan bills in May.

The Canvass Capitol Hill was conducted June 3-21 in partnership with independent public affairs firm, LSG.

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— Robert O’Shaughnessy

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