Florida meetings with Feds disrupted by U.S. House fight
Leadership disruption in the U.S. House of Representatives has disrupted progress on Federal support of agricultural spending, The Apopka Voice reports Oct. 8.
The Voice indicates that Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson was meant to hold two listening sessions on the U.S. Farm bill with House members Scott Franklin (FL-18) and Kat Cammack (FL-3). However, both sessions were postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.” The sessions were planned “for farmers, ranchers, and growers to voice their concerns and thoughts on upcoming agricultural issues, such as the Farm Bill and other emerging federal, state and local issues impacting Florida’s agriculture industry,” according to Rep. Cammack’s office.
After a bipartisan 45-day spending bill was passed, the Republican Party, of which Franklin and Cammack are members, got caught up in a leadership fight that saw Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) toppled as House Speaker.
Franklin and Cammack each represent large, mostly rural districts that depend heavily on agriculture. According to the Florida newspaper, “The farm bill must be renewed every five years to set federal policy and funding for agricultural and conservation programs. The previous iteration expired at midnight on Sept. 30.” It was last signed into law in December 2018 by President Donald Trump.
Adeline Sandridge, a spokesperson for Rep. Cammack, said the postponement was due to U.S. House members called back to Washington, D.C. during two previously scheduled recess weeks to avert a government shutdown.
A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture told The Apopka Voice that he had no information on rescheduling the listening sessions.