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Senate Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Senate Agriculture Committee last week in a 20-1 vote passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he intends to bring the bill to the Senate floor before the July 4 state work period. The Senate bill, unlike the House version, does not make major changes to eligibility rules for food stamps or impose new work requirements on recipients. The Meat Institute worked closely with other Barnyard Coalition organizations to stop an amendment, introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-SD), that would have allowed state inspected meat to be shipped in interstate commerce. The same amendment is expected to be offered when the Farm Bill is considered on the Senate floor.

House members, meanwhile, have until June 22 to reconsider their version of the legislation in its current form. The House in May failed to pass the Farm Bill in a 198-213 vote, with every Democrat and 30 Republicans voting against the measure. Many Republican lawmakers who opposed the bill are members of the House Freedom Caucus, and voted against the legislation over concerns about spending and immigration. The current Farm Bill expires September 30, 2018.

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