Current Washington Situation
In January, Republicans took control of the House. A California Congressman, Kevin McCarthy, is the Speaker. This will benefit California in many ways such as agriculture, water, and trade.
The new Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is GT Thomson. He will lead the process of obtaining the new Farm Bill this year. The former Committee Chairman will be the ranking Democrat on the Committee for the Farm Bill legislative process. With one exception, since 1990, no Farm Bill has been passed except in an election year. This means the new Farm Bill may be passed in 2024. The biggest change resulting from the switch in party control is likely to be to climate policy and programs. The new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is skeptical of many of the climate proposals that USDA has
been developing. This includes the carbon bank payment to growers. The $1.7 trillion Omnibus funding bill passed last month contained several climate provisions which will remove them from the Farm Bill. It is doubtful a new Farm Bill will be passed this year. Democrats remain in control of the Senate. They will have greater control now due to their increase in numbers to 51. This number is achieved due to the independents caucusing with the Democrats. This means the Democrats will have a majority on every committee and will be able to do as they please in each Senate committee. This is a
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