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D.C. News

published: July 27th 2018
by: Martha H. Garrett

Farm Bill set to go to conference with Senate

The House of Repre-sentatives voted unanimously on July 18th to go to conference with the Senate on a new farm bill. Pre-viously both groups had passed farm bills, but now they must try to compromise to reach agreement on a bill. 
There are a number of farm, agricultural and food programs that are set to expire at the end of September. Reauthorizing the farm bill on time is a priority in farm country, where a prolonged slump in commodity prices has more than halved net farm income in recent years and trade retaliation has already cut into some farmers’ bottom line.
The biggest issue facing the two groups appears to be the requirement of work for those receiving food stamps. The House bill would require able-bodied beneficiaries of the Sup-plemental Nutrition Assis-tance Program (SNAP) to work 20 hours a week to get support and the previously approved Senate version made no changes to that provision.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Kevin Kester issued the following statement re-garding the U.S. House of Representatives' approval of a motion to proceed to a conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill:
"This is yet another step in the right direction toward a farm bill that delivers on the important priorities of America's farmers and ranchers. We're especially pleased to see significant bipartisan support for the motion to instruct conferees. This motion instructs the conferees to support permanent mandatory funding for the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccine Bank and the other important programs included in the Animal Disease Preparedness Response requests in the bill.
"We look forward to continuing our work with House Agriculture Com-mittee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Ran-king Member Collin Pe-terson (D-Minn.), and the rest of the conferees as the 2018 Farm Bill is finalized."

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