The House and Senate will now negotiate a common bill
By Diego Flammini
Yesterday, the United States Senate committee on agriculture passed its own version of the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 86 to 11.
As the House agriculture committee approved its own version of a farm bill last week, the House and Senate will now work together in the Joint Conference Committee on a bill they can send to President Trump’s desk.
The 2018 Farm Bill must receive the President’s signature before the 2014 Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30.
U.S. farm groups are pleased with the progression on this important piece of legislation.
“It was time for good news and the Senate delivered it in bipartisan fashion,” Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a statement yesterday. “We do have concerns about some of the provisions that were added to the bill that make it harder for farmers to manage risk, but we are confident that those issues can be satisfactorily addressed by the House/Senate conference committee.”
Some sections in each variation of the bill could lead to thorough debate.
The House bill, for example, provides $100 million in funding for a pilot program to address challenges with feral swine. The Senate bill does not include such funding.
The House’s bill mandates that capable adults work or participate in related raining for about 20 hours each week in order to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Senate bill does not include any work requirements.
The Senate’s version of the farm bill increases the acreage eligible for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program to 25 million acres.
The House farm bill increases the acreage eligible for enrollment to 29 million acres.
U.S. ag organizations would like to see the bill passed before the Sept. 30 deadline.
The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) “calls for a speedy conference and for the conferees to be chosen quickly. We look forward to continuing to work with members in the House and Senate to advocate for wheat farmers as both versions of the Farm Bill go on to conference,” Jimmie Musick, president of the NAWG, said in a statement yesterday.