Ag Today June 11, 2018

Senate unveils farm bill, leaves food stamps alone

BY JULIET LINDERMAN
Associated Press
June 08, 2018 01:13 PM, Updated June 08, 2018 01:14 PM

WASHINGTON
The Senate Agriculture Committee on Friday released a bipartisan farm bill that makes mostly modest adjustments to existing programs and, unlike the House version of the bill, doesn’t pick a fight over food stamps.

The Senate bill, dubbed the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” is budget-neutral and aims to renew subsidy, conservation, nutrition, rural development and commodity programs set to expire on Sept. 30.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill also includes a measure to legalize industrial hemp. In April, McConnell introduced a hemp legalization bill, which he said in a news release has garnered support of 24 other senators.

The farm bill will go to the committee for a vote next week and sets up a possible confrontation with the House, whose bill went after the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. The House bill passed the committee on party lines, but last month failed on the floor when a group of conservative lawmakers blocked its passage over an unrelated immigration bill.

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