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U.S Sen. John Boozman introduces Republican's framework for Farm Bill

U.S Senator John Boozman of Arkansas worries about using budget reconciliation to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. He said he will vote against the act.
Senator John Boozman
U.S Senator John Boozman of Arkansas wants to put more "farm" in the Farm Bill. Boozman introduced the Republican's version of the Farm Bill.

Last week, U.S Sen. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, released a draft of the Republican’s version of the Farm Bill. In a press release, Boozman said the bill was a product of both parties working together.

“We believe that our framework reflects the chamber’s shared commitments across all twelve titles while putting more farm in the farm bill, something we’ve been calling for since the onset,” Boozman said. “Our farmers, ranchers, foresters, consumers, lenders and other stakeholders helped us fashion a farm bill that meets their varying needs. It’s a delicate balance… …but on the agriculture committee, we have shown we can come together to carry these heavy lifts across the finish line.”

The bill presented by Boozman was the Republican’s version, while Democrats drafted their own version. In an interview with Arkansas PBS, Hunter Biram, economist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, said the bills are similar on most of the issues, but there is a significant difference between the parties on the level of assistance to provide farmers when prices of crops drop.

Biram said one of the areas of farming that Boozman’s version of the bill addresses is conservation.

“With the new Farm Bill, the plan is for spending authorized under the IRA [Inflation Reduction Act] to be placed under the Farm Bill for permanent spending. It’s going to shift dollars obligated in the Inflation Reduction Act for agriculture conservation and shift that money out of the IRA and into the Farm Bill,” Biram said.

Biram said even though the Farm Bill primarily provides assistance to farmers, it is a bill that impacts everyone.

“For a farmer to be able to stabilize their income with programs I mentioned earlier, we can continue to have a safe, affordable and abundant food supply and keep our food cheap. We out of the whole world spend the lowest amount of our disposable income on food,” Biram said.

According to the Congressional Research Service, lawmakers have until Sept. 30 of this year to pass a Farm Bill.

Ronak Patel is a reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.