Ag Policy Blog

House Ag Ranking Member Calls on Chairman to Bring Farm Bill to House Floor

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., on Wednesday pushed for House Republicans to bring the farm bill to the floor for a vote even though he opposes the legislation. Scott suggested the bill that came out of committee in May doesn't have enough Republican support to pass. (DTN photo and official congressional portrait)

Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee, on Wednesday called on House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., to push the Republican leadership to bring the committee-passed farm bill to the House floor for a vote.

Scott did so because he suspects the bill doesn't have support among Republicans to pass.

"If you think you don't need us and have all the Republican support you need to pass this bill, what are you waiting for? Bring the bill to the floor," Scott said in an opening statement at the beginning of a hearing on the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency on farming.

The committee passed a new farm bill on May 24 by a vote of 33 to 21, with four Democrats joining all committee Republicans in voting for the bill. But the four Democrats joined the rest of committee Democrats in a statement after the vote expressing objections to some provisions of the bill.

An energetic Scott said, "I must express my deep concerns about Chairman Thompson's willingness to forgo the farm bill. His stubborn refusal to engage on a bipartisan farm bill is irresponsible for the American people, especially our farmers who feed, fuel, clothe, and house our nation.

"Since the divisive markup almost two months ago, there has been no progress on Chairman Thompson's partisan bill.

"This delay hurts the American people, especially in our rural communities where our farms are. And it injects uncertainty into our nation's economies, both rural and urban. The willingness to delay the bill to play election-year politics is selfish and disrespectful to our farmers. They depend on us to pass a bipartisan farm bill.

"Let's not be cute about this -- food security is national security. Chairman Thompson knows this -- he put it in the dang title: 'The Farm, Food, and National Security Act.'"

Scott said House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has not shown any signal that he plans to bring up the bill "because it was not written as a serious bill. It was written to be used as a campaign slogan, nothing more!"

After Scott's opening statement, Thompson said, "There is a lot I could say, but I am not going to say anything."

Thompson added that he would move ahead with the hearing on EPA and "stay grounded in reality."

House Chairs to Send Letters to Vilsack, Others About Chevron Decision

Republican chairs of House committees are sending letters to agency heads including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask for their reactions to the Supreme Court's decision last week in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo overturning the Chevron doctrine, which gave deference to federal agencies in writing regulations.

In a news release, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., said, "This week, House Republican Committees are sending letters to their corresponding federal agencies to demand the review of various overreaching regulations in our fight to free the American people from the power-hungry administrative state. Agencies can't be allowed to run free without any checks on their power -- we've already seen how frequently federal agencies will abuse their authority. We intend to ensure agencies are held accountable following the court's ruling and observe the proper checks on their power."

Scalise also said, "Our Founding Fathers designed the American government with a key aspect to ensure a system of checks and balances between the three branches of government: the separation of powers. But since Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council Inc., federal agencies have had free rein to interpret statutes and write rules in a way that expands their authority with few limits, allowing the administrative state to assume powers our founders intended for the Supreme Court and Congress. Thanks to the Supreme Court's decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, that is no longer the case.

"With their ruling in this case, the Supreme Court restored proper constitutional separation of powers as our Founding Fathers intended by overturning Chevron deference and requiring the courts to decide disputes over interpretation of statutory text."

The letter to Vilsack was signed by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa.; House Education & the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.; and House Oversight and Accountability Chairman Jamie Comer, R-Ky.

Letter to Vilsack:…

Also see, "USDA P&S Act Reforms Face Longer Odds After Supreme Court Ruling,"…

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

Follow him on social platform X @hagstromreport


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