Every five years, the U.S. Congress is tasked to address the nation’s agriculture industry and food supply by funding the farm bill, which impacts every step along the way for food that Americans consume.
In 2023, the farm bill is up on deck in Congress.
Florida’s second leading economic driver in the state is agriculture, which places a sense of urgency on lawmakers in the state to push for a smooth and substantive legislative measure that addresses the needs of the agriculture community.
There are only two Florida lawmakers that sit on. The House Committee on Agriculture—Reps. Kat Cammack (R) and Darren Soto (D).
Prior to a House Republican congressional delegation meeting in Washington to vet candidates to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Cammack told The Floridian that the farm bill was one of the issues brought up to both Reps. Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise.
Both men were running to be speaker, but Scalise removed his name for consideration.
“You know one has supported them (farm bills) every way through since they've been in Congress, another has not,” said Rep. Cammack.
Because agriculture is such a big industry in Florida, Rep. Cammack said that the state had “the most to lose” if Republicans didn’t get a good deal done for farmers.
“Florida has the most to lose if we don't get this farm bill right,” added Cammack. “I think we need to do a lot more work and explaining why a farm bill is so important to Florida and more importantly we as a Florida delegation hang tough together.”
In addition, Cammack believes that lawmakers needed to take the controversial “guest worker proportion and the concerns around agriculture labor out of the farm bill discussion,’ adding that the funding bill should be solely about “nutritional and food production and conservation.”
Cammack along with most lawmakers would like to see a “clean farm bill”
The ongoing drama within the House Republican caucus over who they will choose as Speaker has stalled government appropriations to keep the country funded, including the farm bill.