May 21, 2018


US 2018 farm bill derailed; cattlemen 'disappointed'



US cattlemen expressed their disappointment after the House of Representatives failed to pass the 2018 farm bill on Friday, May 18, which they said addresses several priorities for producers including an expanded foot and mouth disease vaccine bank.


The Republican-written farm bill did not muster the majority vote after 30 Republicans broke with party leaders to vote with all the House Democrats against the bill.


The Democrats objected to a provision that would require stricter work and job training requirements for food-stamp recipients, CNBC reported.


The 30 hardline conservative Republicans sought assurances that the House would vote on a tough immigration plan in exchange for their votes, but did not get them.


National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) Executive Director of Government Affairs Allison Cooke said in a statement that vote on the 2018 House Farm Bill "is a disappointing outcome for American cattlemen and women."


Other priorities addressed by bill


Besides an expanded foot and mouth disease vaccine bank, the bill also prioritises funding for environmental stewardship initiatives and trade promotion programmes, according to Cooke.


"It is critical that Congress pass a new Farm Bill before September 30th to provide certainty for cattle and beef producers. We will continue to work with our allies in Congress to make that happen", she said.


President Donald Trump, who supported the farm bill, was also "disappointed" by the result and "hopes the House can resolve any remaining issues," said deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters in a statement.


The Trump administration "underscores the need to bring certainty to our farmers and ranchers and to the many Americans receiving food assistance," she said.


Earlier the NCBA opposed an amendment introduced to the farm bill by US Representatives Dave Brat and Earl Blumenauer, saying it shackled commodity research and promotion programmes commonly known as "checkoffs."


The amendment would ban contracts with any party that engages in advocacy-even though the advocacy has nothing to do with the entity's partnership with checkoffs, according to the NCBA and over 40 other commodity trade associations.

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