Sen. Marshall Prioritizes Trade, Food Aid During First Ag Committee Hearing on 2023 Farm Bill

(Washington, D.C., February 1, 2023) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. questioned witnesses today during the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry’s first hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill, a five-year legislative package that is critical for providing support to Kansas’ agriculture industry. Today’s hearing focused on the Farm Bill’s trade and horticulture titles, and Senator Marshall used his time to gather witness testimony on market access for American agriculture products.

Senator Marshall began his remarks by emphasizing the role Kansans have played in crafting the Farm Bill throughout its history, saying in part,

“…This Farm Bill, which is authorized about every five years, helps provide affordable, safe, reliable food and fiber for this country. It’s not lost upon me that as I look around the room and see the portraits in the room, that Senator Pat Roberts’s legacy stares over all of us. This is the first Farm Bill in 40 years when his boot prints are not going to be all over it…As I promised him, I’ll make sure that, as the father of crop insurance, we will be protecting that…It was in 1953 that a farmer in Cheyenne County, Kansas – Peter O’Brien – stood up at a Kansas Farm Bureau meeting, ‘we can help people overseas, that we can give food for peace’…Another Kansan, President Eisenhower, signed that into law…This is the 21st anniversary of the Dole-McGovern bill, which helps provide food for education…”

You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks and witness questions.

On Mexico’s planned exclusion of American corn, Senator Marshall said in part,

“The Biden Administration has triggered USMCA’s dispute resolution system six separate times to complain about Mexican labor conditions. In the meantime, the Administration has refused to trigger the USMCA to contest Mexico’s planned exclusion of American corn…Our Farmers feel like this administration is putting Mexican assembly workers ahead of farmers…What are we waiting for to trigger this mechanism…We think it’s time for action…”

On the dispute between the Department of Justice and Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the USDA’s knowledge on pesticides, Senator Marshall said in part,

“Before the Eighth Circuit, attorneys for the Justice Department suggested that USDA are not experts on the uses of pesticides like chlorpyrifos. They used this argument to try to convince the Eighth Circuit judges to ignore Secretary Vilsack standing by the science in a letter to members of Congress…how do you feel about the Justice Department basically slapping you in the face, saying that USDA doesn’t understand the science?”

On the United States’ international food aid efforts,

“…In 2010 we were giving commodities as opposed to cash about 10-to-1. And now, about two-thirds of the aid is in cash rather than U.S. commodities…Why are we giving cash instead of commodities?”

Following today’s hearing, Senator Marshall joined RFDTV to discuss the Farm Bill, American agriculture trade, and drought in Kansas. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the full interview.

Background on the Farm Bill:

The original Farm Bill – The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) was a federal law passed in 1933 as part of U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The law offered farmers subsidies in exchange for limiting their production of certain crops. The subsidies were meant to limit overproduction so that crop prices could increase. This was so farmers wouldn’t go out of business and then ultimately not produce enough food for the US. Today, along with crop prices, the Farm Bill authorizes federal programs related to conservation, trade, crop insurance, and nutrition.