Farm Bill 2018 Passes Senate

Matt Briscoe

WASHINGTON—Lawmakers in Washington have reached a deal on a version of farm bill 2018 that leaves out a proposal to tighten food stamps criteria backed by President Donald Trump, and offers some financial certainty to farmers suffering from the U.S. trade war with China.

The bill passed the Senate on Monday by a tally of 87-13. The bill now moves back to the House for a possible vote on Thursday. From there, bill is expected to be sent to Trump for his signature before Friday.

The deal that was struck on the bill between is a critical piece of legislation that ends a long saga of debate on the bill, which covers $867 billion worth of food and agriculture programs including crop subsidies and support to growers seeking access to export markets.

Republicans were forced to ease up on some of their proposed legislation, which included stricter requirements for recipients of food stamps.

On Monday, before final passage through the Senate, President Trump said the progress on it was bipartisan, something “We think the farm bill is in very good shape. A lot of good things are happening with it, and out farmers are well taken care of,” he said.

One key point from the final senate version of the Farm Bill includes Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs to help provide Texas producers with stability through unpredictable weather and natural disasters.

The final senate version also funds foreign access programs, which help Texas farmers and ranchers place and sell their products in foreign markets.

“After many discussions with Texas farmers and ranchers, I’m pleased to report this Farm Bill includes a number of their priorities, including strengthening crop insurance, maintaining seed cotton eligibility for the Farm Bill safety net, and promoting animal health by countering cattle tick fever and Chronic Wasting Disease,” said Sen. Cornyn. “However, the Farm Bill isn’t just for farmers anymore; this bill will impact our nation’s food supply and pricing, promote environmental conservation, authorize research partnerships at Texas universities, and help modernize American textile mills.”

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