WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives passed their version of the 2018 Farm Bill on Thursday, June 21, by a narrow two-vote margin. According to Chairman Michael Conaway (TX-11), this was the next step in reauthorizing an important program that supports many people across the nation.
“It keeps faith with those hardworking men and women in production agriculture,” Conaway explained. “It says we’re going to maintain this safety net. We’re going to make it as good as we can. And we really want to get it done on time.”
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst is also optimistic that this version of the bill will continue to help farmers feed, clothe and fuel the world.
“Keeping a strong crop insurance program was one of Missouri Farm Bureau members’ highest priorities in the farm bill negotiations, and this bill does just that,” Hurst said. “It also makes no major changes to other current farm risk management programs and strengthens provisions related to cotton and dairy production. Ultimately this bill would strengthen the ability of farmers to bounce back from the historic lows in farm income we are currently experiencing.”
Chairman Conaway said that he is proud of what the bill has to offer a wide variety of people in the United States.
“It’s also a big deal for rural America, folks who live where our food is raised and processed,” Conaway said. “For example, the broadband efforts we have in (the bill) will help improve the lives of folks living in rural America.”
Conaway added the bill will aid people who are unemployed in getting out of the “poverty trap they may be in.” However, the House’s farm bill does still tighten the eligibility criteria under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The Senate of Representatives is expected to vote on their version of the bill next week.