The Senate Agriculture Committee’s approval of its farm bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3042), provides light on the horizon for struggling farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“Low commodity prices, rising interest rates and an uncertain future for exports hang heavy over America’s farm and ranch land,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a statement. “We know that Congress is determined to see us continue to provide food security, fuel and fiber for all Americans.”
Noting how Democrats and Republicans on the committee came together in support of the bill, Duvall said he hoped that spirit of cooperation would prevail when the legislation is considered on the Senate floor in the coming weeks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he plans to hold a vote before the chamber goes into its July 4 recess.
“The American Farm Bureau Federation thanks Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for bringing this important legislation forward,” Duvall said.
The House failed last month in its first attempt to pass its farm bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), but House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) recently said he expects a second vote by next Thursday or Friday. Once each chamber passes its farm bill, House and Senate negotiators can craft a final bill to send to President Trump.
“Farmers and ranchers are counting on our lawmakers to come together and pass the farm bill soon, followed quickly by the president’s signature,” Duvall said.