Dec 06, 2018
Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees continue to keep most provisions of the farm bill agreement-in-principle they reached last week under wraps, waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to score some last-minute changes to make sure the bill is budget-neutral.
In addition, Congress and the President have agreed to fund federal agencies for another two weeks, postponing adjournment of the 115th Congress until Dec. 21 and giving farm bill negotiators more time to finish their work.
Release of the new bill text is now expected by Tuesday next week, after which members of the House-Senate conference committee will sign the conference report and the legislation will go to the Senate and House for final approval.
The major issue of tightening SNAP (food stamp) work requirements has been resolved, and Secretary Sonny Perdue has stated the Administration’s approval. So if all goes as planned (sometimes a capital “if” in Washington), President Donald Trump will sign the bill into law before Congress adjourns, and a new farm bill will be in place before the Christmas Holiday.
While still unofficial, some of the farm bill provisions that ASA has been working on over the last two years have begun to emerge. Below are some of the details we have learned in the last few days. We will report on the entire bill when the text is released next week.
Title I (Commodities)
Title II (Conservation)
Title III (Trade)
Authorizations for MPA, FMD, Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) and the Emerging Markets Program are combined, with minimum funding levels for each program continued at current levels. Overall funding for export promotion is increased, with the total closer to the Senate level of $6 million per year.