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Farm Bill Heads to Trump After House Passage
USAgNet - 12/13/2018

Congress has voted for an $867 billion farm bill with strong bipartisan support, spurred in part by pressure from farmers battered by President Trump’s trade war with China.

In a 386-47 vote, the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a bill which allocates billions of dollars in subsidies to American farmers, legalizes hemp, bolsters farmers markets and rejects stricter limits on food stamps pushed by House Republicans. President Trump is expected to soon sign it into law. The Senate passed the legislation in an 87-to-13 vote on Tuesday.

The Washington Post reports that congressional negotiators said they faced demands to complete the bill from farmers and ranchers who have seen steep declines in commodities prices as a result of the trade dispute with China.

“The passage of the 2019 Farm Bill is good news because it provides a strong safety net for farmers and ranchers, who need the dependability and certainty this legislation affords," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement after the bill passed the House.

Still, the bill has faced criticism, including from conservative Republicans. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), one of two farmers in the Senate and a member of the Agriculture Committee, voted against the package over its expansion of federal subsidies to more-distant relatives of farmers, such as cousins, nephews and nieces. Grassley joined eight other Republicans in opposing the measure, which was supported by every Senate Democrat.

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