By a vote of 20 to 1, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Wednesday
“The Senate Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill process is a reminder of how things should work in Washington – listening to the folks back home, working through issues with the other side of the aisle, then writing a good bill,” said Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “Today marks another important step in the road to getting an on-time Farm Bill enacted into law. We urge our colleagues to support this bill.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was the sole dissenting vote, continuing his long-time crusade for payment limitations.
“Setting sound, enforceable limits to farm safety net payments is a straightforward way to exercise fiscal responsibility and close loopholes that exploit the intent of farm programs that allow some non-farmers to game the system and take resources away from real, working farmers,” said Grassley in a statement after the vote. “I’ve been an advocate for making these reforms for more than a decade, so you can imagine my disappointment that they weren’t included in the committee’s legislation. I intend to offer an amendment on the Senate floor to include commonsense payment limits in the 2018 Farm Bill.”
Grassley also opposed including the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the farm bill. The legislation to remove federal roadblocks to industrial hemp was included. “By securing my hemp provision in the Farm Bill, we are building upon the successes of the hemp pilot programs and encouraging the great potential of this versatile crop,” said McConnell.
Listen to McConnell’s comments here:
Sen. McConnell comments on hemp legislation in farm bill