Tuberville: Democrats’ Farm Bill Framework is a Liberal Wish List

Proposal doesn’t include necessary increases in reference prices and crop insurance protections, focuses instead on climate change

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) released the following statement today in response to Senate AG Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) release of the Democrats’ Farm Bill framework:

“Last week, Chairwoman Stabenow released a partisan Farm Bill framework in the Senate that only includes Democrats’ priorities. The proposal does not put our farmers, foresters, and producers first—it prioritizes spending on nutrition and conservation instead of farm programs. Democrats have been saying for months that there’s no additional money to bolster the farm safety net with necessary increases in reference prices and crop insurance protections. Yet, somehow, they found more than $20 billion to spend on their partisan priorities, including allowing Puerto Rican residents to be eligible for SNAP and tying conservation spending to climate change initiatives.  

I appreciate the work of Chairman GT Thompson in the House Ag Committee to put together a solid Farm Bill framework with essential support for southern commodities.

While these two proposals each take a starkly different approach to Farm Bill reauthorization, I am glad that we are starting the conversation. Food security is national security, and it’s important that our Farm Bill prioritizes those who work hard to feed, fuel, and clothe Americans. I look forward to continuing to advocate for the needs of Alabama’s farmers and producers throughout this process.”


As Alabama’s voice on the Senate AG Committee, Senator Tuberville has been fighting for a strong Farm Bill that puts our farmers, foresters, and producers first.

In a February Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Senator Tuberville spoke about the need to support farmers struggling from inflation, the dire state of the agriculture economy, and burdensome regulations from Washington. Additionally, Senator Tuberville asked about what USDA is doing to address Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud and promote agricultural trade to keep competitors from having unfair advantages over domestic producers.

Also in February, Senator Tuberville joined a letter to the EPA calling for the Biden administration to appeal a recent court decision in order to protect farmers from losing certain dicamba-based crop protection tools largely used in no-till farming. Dicamba is an effective herbicide farmers use on cotton and soybean crops.

In January, Senator Tuberville joined Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Jon Tester (D-MT), and 10 other Senate colleagues in introducing the AFIDA Improvements Act of 2024 to collect more information about foreign ownership of American farmland. The legislation builds on Senator Tuberville’s efforts to secure America’s agriculture industry from foreign adversaries, including the Foreign Adversary Risk Management ActProtecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Actand Securing America’s Land from Foreign Interference Act.

In December 2023, Senator Tuberville joined colleagues in sending two letters opposing the slow rollout of the Biden administration’s Emergency Relief Program (ERP 2022), which implemented payment limits that unfairly harm producers who have undergone significant losses. Sen. Tuberville joined Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) and colleagues in sending a bicameral letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack expressing their concerns about USDA’s methodology and implementation of ERP. Additionally, Sen. Tuberville joined Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) in sending a letter to Comptroller General Dodaro requesting a Government Accountability Office (GAO) review of USDA’s ERP 2022 program.

Sen. Tuberville has led the charge in calling out the Biden administration for a proposed rule that would allow unions to coerce and pressure temporary foreign agriculture workers into unionization. Sen. Tuberville submitted a comment letter in November 2023 expressing strong opposition to the Biden administration’s proposed H-2A regulation. In the letter, he outlined how the proposed rule would hurt farmers and producers who rely on seasonal workers through the H-2A program for farm labor. Sen. Tuberville also joined Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) in sending another letter in November requesting an extension of the comment period for the proposed rule, but the request for the extension was denied by DOL.

In November 2023, Sen. Tuberville’s office encouraged crop and livestock producers in Alabama to consider the USDA emergency loan and disaster assistance programs to help them recover financially from the prolonged drought affecting the state.

Sen. Tuberville introduced the Black Vulture Relief Act in November 2023 to allow farmers and ranchers to protect their newborn livestock from black vultures without burdensome government interference.

During 2023 Farm Bill listening sessions throughout Alabama, Sen. Tuberville heard the concerns of peanut, cotton, and soybean farmers who are struggling in Joe Biden’s economy.

In September 2023, Senator Tuberville introduced the Farmers’ Market Expansion Act to add tree nuts, including pecans, to USDA’s Seniors’ Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. This would provide a new market for pecan producers and allow seniors increased access to nutritious, locally-sourced pecan products.

In July 2023, Senator Tuberville introduced two pieces of legislation—the Farm Board Act and the Mid-South Oilseed Double Cropping Study Act of 2023—to improve opportunities and representation for Alabama’s agriculture community.

The Farm Board Act, which Senator Tuberville introduced with Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) would make changes to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation’s (FCIC) ten-member Board of Directors. The FCIC is a government-owned corporation that finances the federal crop insurance program’s (FCIP’s) operations.  There are currently four seats for agricultural producers on the board, of which one must be a producer of specialty crops. This bill designates two of the remaining three open seats for farmers on the FCIC Board as (1) a producer of livestock and crops, and (2) an underserved producer, respectively.

The Mid-South Oilseed Double Cropping Study Act of 2023, led by Sen. Tuberville and several of his colleagues, would request a study from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) on the gap in crop insurance coverage for certain winter oilseed crops, specifically canola and rapeseed, and double cropping policies. For farmers to take advantage of opportunities in renewable diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel, they need the assurance that crop insurance—such as Catastrophic Risk Protection, Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, or Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion—will be eligible in their counties for these crops and practices.  To address crop insurance gaps that may exist, RMA and FCIC need analysis of winter oilseed crop and double-cropping production practices and opportunities.

These bills build on Senator Tuberville’s legislation to address issues facing our agriculture community such as the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act, which would establish safeguards against foreign purchases of American farmland. Alabama is one of the most susceptible states to foreign agriculture influence, with our state having the third-highest amount of foreign-owned land in the country. 

Senator Tuberville is also concerned with rising input costs continuing to cut into farmers’ bottom lines and making it difficult to do what they do best: farm. That’s why he helped introduce legislation to eliminate the federal Estate Tax, often called the Death Tax, to prevent any more family farms from going out of business due to this burdensome regulation. Instead of inhibiting production, the federal government needs to focus on creating an economic environment that preserves small businesses and family farms and incentivizes the next generation to enter the industry to continue feeding and fueling our nation. 

Senator Tuberville also helped introduce the Feral Swine Eradication Act to extend and make permanent the pilot program established in the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation would continue to safeguard public health, agriculture, and local ecosystems against the threat of feral swine. Feral swine impede farmers’ livelihoods and our national food supply, causing more than $1.5 billion in damages annually. Over the last five years, feral swine have impacted more than 173,000 acres in Alabama.

Last year, Senator Tuberville was named the top Republican of the AG Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, which enables him to build on his work to expand broadband access for rural communities. In December 2023, Sen. Tuberville advocated for increased access to capital, tools to hedge risk, rural broadband, and the needs of rural communities during a Senate Ag Committee hearing.

Senator Tuberville’s first hearing as Ranking Member of Rural Development and Energy—titled “Rural Broadband: Connecting our Communities to the Digital Economy”—focused on ways to expand broadband access in rural communities and incorporate these programs in the 2023 Farm Bill. Senator Tuberville invited Rainsville native and CEO of Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative Inc. (FTC), Frank Johnson, to testify before the subcommittee about successful broadband expansion technologies he’s seen through his work to increase service speeds for rural areas. 

In addition to the Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, Senator Tuberville serves on the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, and Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research.  

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.