National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said Tuesday, "Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill can not come soon enough for American family farmers and ranchers, who need the certainty of the farm bill safety net to continue to weather the worst farm economy decline in more than 30 years". "So the goal of the farm bill is to make sure that every American has access to safe, affordable and abundant food".
He led the Senate in approving the farm bill 87-13 Tuesday. The compromise bill - released Monday - does not include the strict work requirements for food stamps passed under the House bill earlier this year.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is vowing to pass additional reforms next year. With states like IL and Wisconsin losing hundreds of dairy farms each year, supporters say this farm bill provides a safety net. Disaster relief provisions apply generally and there are subsidies for specific agricultural industries. The bill also funds the country's food stamp program "SNAP" for 40 million low-income Americans.
"Things change", says Mr. Moore of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Hunters make vegan environmentalists cringe, but many hunting organizations are deeply invested in conservation efforts - and the rod and rifle crowd had nothing but praise for the farm bill. The compromise also increases acreage in the Conservation Reserve Program and includes an act sponsored by Sen.
The bill also ends the federal prohibition on hemp production.
The federal government heavily regulates and restricts commercial use of hemp because of its relation to cannabis. And for the first time in decades, it allows United States farmers to produce industrial hemp, a non-hallucinatory version of marijuana. It sets the course for a big swath of the country's habitats and waterways, and provides assistance that can mean the difference between ruin and redemption for many families.
"Unfortunately this bill has become about more than supporting our farmers", Sen.
The statement says members of both caucuses "remain committed to working in a bipartisan manner to address outstanding issues".
However, the measure retains other provisions from the House bill, including items to help prevent fraud and duplication of benefits in the food stamps program.
The House also brewed some controversy in its procedural vote to establish the rules on how the bill would be debated. "We'd like to thank Congress for their steadfast support of our nation's wetlands and waterfowl", said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall.
With 60 votes in the Senate required and a narrow Republican majority, the bill needs support from some Democratic senators in order to reach the finish line.
"We have overwhelming support for our bill that will really help our farmers and ranchers through a hard time".