The Farm Bill is finally headed to President Donald Trump’s desk after the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the $867 billion spending package on a 369-47 vote, according to numerous media reports. This comes one day after the Senate approved the same legislation on a vote of 87-13.
About 80% of the farm bill total goes into Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs and benefits. The legislation also expands farm subsidies and legalizes hemp production, among other things, according to The Hill.
News of the bill’s passage was immediately met with praise from numerous industry groups. “Farm policies have a major impact on the health of the agriculture economy, which is a key driver of equipment manufacturing employment. We applaud Congress on its bipartisan effort to pass this much-needed legislation and look forward to President Trump signing the 2018 Farm Bill into law,” said John Lagemann, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Deere & Co. and chairman of the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
Dennis Slater, president of AEM, said, “the U.S. agriculture economy is the backbone of rural America, which underscores why passing pro-agriculture and pro-manufacturing policies are so important. By signing the farm bill, President Trump will help preserve and expand programs important to the health of the farm economy and strengthen the U.S. agriculture equipment industry.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue hailed its passage as “good news” for farmers and ranchers who need the certainty that this legislation affords. “This Farm Bill will help producers make decisions about the future, while also investing in important agricultural research and supporting trade programs to bolster exports.”
“The bipartisan bill includes important commodity price protections that will provide producers and community banks with greater business-planning certainty over the next 5 years. This is essential during an era of low commodity prices, sharply lower net farm income and foreign trade uncertainties,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, president and CEO of Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). “The farm bill also maintains a strong crop insurance program, increases USDA guaranteed farm loan limits to $1.75 million, and provides for the possible increase in guaranteed USDA rural development loans — all of which are ICBA and community bank priorities.”
Congress has approved the farm bill after months of negotiations. The current farm bill lapsed on Sept. 30 after lawmakers struggled to reach consensus over changes to SNAP.