House Fails to Pass Farm Bill

The US House of Representatives defeated a proposed five-year $940 billion Farm Bill Thursday. The legislation failed on a 234 to 195 vote.

The Farm Bill is comprehensive federal legislation that authorizes commodity programs, and programs related to trade, rural development, farm credit, conservation, agricultural research, food and nutrition programs, and marketing. About 80% of Farm Bill funding is for nutrition programs, (e.g., food stamps, WIC, school lunch). Theoretically, the Farm Bill is renewed every five years.

Several of the grant programs Morrison works with are funded by the Farm Bill, including the Value Added Producer Grant, Specialty Crop Block Grant, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, and Rural Energy for America Program. In addition, many of our clients are impacted by other measures within the legislation, and as such, we've been keeping a close watch on Farm Bill activity.

With the defeat of the House Farm Bill, the future of the legislation is uncertain. The Senate has already passed its version of the Farm Bill, which includes $400 million in cuts to nutrition programs and the elimination of $5 billion in annual direct payments to growers. As discussed in this article, there is the potential for the House to attempt negotiations with the Senate on their bill.

We'll keep you posted with any updates!


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