Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, about the midterm elections and what those results mean for the cattle industry.
“It feels like we are on day seven of election day, still, you know, we are still looking at some of those races where it would appear at this point that Republicans are over the finish line as far as control of the house, but just barely- nowhere near some of the totals that were predicted,” Lane said. “It has been interesting to talk to some of our friends in the campaign community and talk about some of the polling data.”
In the ag space, Lane said a few losses were seen, such as Tom O’Halleran from Arizona on the ag committee who lost his seat to Eli Crane. In a similar circumstance, Abigail Spangerger on the other side of the country, held on to her seat.
“It does kind of beg the question of candidate quality,” Lane said. “That is not making a judgement on either of those candidates, but I think we have heard Mitch O’Connell talk about that, and we have heard others talk about that. I think that is going to really be where a lot of people’s heads are going to go now.”
Through this election, Lane said there is a lot to learn about what a “winning candidate” looks like in today’s time and what voters’ understanding of certain issues are, and what is working to connect with voters.
“Even on individual ballots in some of these states, we saw real splits in those returns,” Lane said. “The governor’s race in Georgia was called by 10- 10:30 at night, and we are not going to know the results of the senate race there until early December.”
It has been an odd election cycle, Ethan said, and there will be quite a few changes for the Ag Committee as a result.
“First and foremost, that pressure on Leader McCarthy that we are hearing about this week- the debate amongst him and the freedom caucus and how much authority he is going to sort of give up in order to become a speaker to the freedom caucus- the biggest impact that might be felt from that could very well be farm bill negotiations next year,” Lane said. “When you talk about that kind of fiscal conservative tone that we are going to hear from this new group coming in, we know some of these members are coming to Washington have sort of stridently said, ‘I am not voting for a farm bill.’ We are going to see just how serious they are about that when their constituents start calling them and telling them they want them to vote for a farm bill.”
With inflation impacting everything in the country, the farm bill package is directly impacted, Lane said, which is why the farm bill may be close to a trillion dollars.
“Whether it is the cost of food, whether it is the cost of conservation programs, whether it is the cost of FMD vaccine bank implementation, you name it, if it is in the farm bill, it costs more than it did five years ago,” Lane said.
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