Senate GOP leaders watch debt limit collide with their coveted farm bill


Senate GOP leaders are growing concerned their party’s debt limit standoff with the White House could derail another top policy priority: the $1 trillion farm bill.

The massive piece of legislation serves as a key lifeline for not only the agricultural-heavy home states of nearly every Senate Republican leader, but for the rural economy in states like Montana, Ohio and Pennsylvania that the party hopes to win back in 2024.

The broad funding cuts and new restrictions on anti-hunger programs that House Republicans are clamoring for in a debt-limit deal are likely to bleed into the 2023 farm bill, threatening to delay and possibly derail the legislation, which would reauthorize U.S. food and agriculture spending for the next decade. Without it, key agriculture programs begin to expire at the end of September. Even passing a slimmed-down version of the bill would be a political blow for GOP leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his top lieutenant Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) back home, not to mention for their hopes of retaking the Senate next year.