Whither the Farm Bill?  Choose Your Adventure

House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA) said this week that his committee will complete its work on the Farm Bill reauthorization effort to craft a new multi-year law addressing USDA programs and other things before Memorial Day.  Meanwhile, this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote a Dear Colleague letter to senators that omits the Farm Bill entirely from a laundry list of items to address in the remainder of the year.  You will note the partisan tone of Schumer’s letter that is sure not to impress Republicans — which is perfectly fine with Schumer.  Nevertheless, it does lay out a broad agenda of to-do items, notably including funding Ukraine defense efforts.  Thompson is a seasoned legislator who is well-respected by Republicans and Democrats alike, and he claims to have a solution that will break an impasse in the ongoing negotiations about nutrition programs.  Whether he will succeed on his timeline remains to be seen.  While the House and Senate each conduct business independently of each other, it is not ideal to do a bill that foreseeably cannot advance in the other chamber for an extended period of time.  Much more preferable is to be able to create and rely upon momentum to move a bill through both chambers and then to the president’s desk for signing into law.