Farm Bill Passes; On Its Way to POTUS
WASHINGTON – On Tuesday afternoon (December 12), the House of Representatives passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act. The legislation, better known as the Farm Bill, will now go to President Donald J. Trump for his signature after passing in the Senate earlier this week.
Prior to final passage, Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) spoke in favor of the legislation. His remarks, as delivered:
“I thank the gentleman for yielding.
“Mr. Speaker, I was blessed to be a walk-on football player for the University of Arkansas and participate on two 10-win conference championship teams. Coach Ken Hatfield’s triple option offense averaged over 300 yards per game but it came in small chunks that resulted in first downs, that resulted in touchdowns, and eventually led to victories.
“Mr. Speaker, farm incomes are down across the board, the West is consumed by wildfires, China and other nations are taking advantage of unfair trade laws. What rural America needs is a first down. Our farmers and ranchers need to see Congress move the ball forward and provide their families the protection and relief they need during these hard times. This Conference Report is not a hail Mary. It does not contain everything I would like to see in a Farm Bill but it does move the ball forward. It is progress that our farmers need right now.
“I’m disappointed that Senate Democrats blocked many needed forest management provisions as we continue to sift through the ashes of catastrophic wildfires. However, this Conference Report strengthens the farm safety net and provides certainty to our farmers. It does address some forest management issues. It provides millions of dollars in new funding to combat a range of issues facing rural America – from funding to eradicate feral hogs to (funds to) address the opioid crisis and to expand rural broadband. This conference report moves farm policy in the right direction. I urge the adoption of the rule for this Farm Bill and I yield back.”