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House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The House Agriculture Committee last week advanced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill) along party lines in a 26-20 vote, with all Republican members voting in favor, following a committee markup of the legislation. Democrats remained opposed to a proposal that would expand mandatory state workfare programs in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and require that most able-bodied adults between 18 and 59 enroll or work at least part time to receive benefits.

The legislation also contains several provisions of note to the meat industry. The Farm Bill would establish an animal disease prevention program and vaccine bank to strengthen efforts to prevent and respond to foreign animal diseases. A separate provision would direct the USDA Office of Inspector General to evaluate the effectiveness of Food Safety and Inspection Service guidance to small and very small establishments, and report findings to the Secretary of Agriculture. The bill also includes funding for the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, both of which help support export markets for U.S. agricultural products. The Committee is planning for a full House vote on the legislation during the week of May 7. The current Farm Bill expires September 30, 2018.

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