Clements: The vote to advance the 2018 farm bill out of the House Agriculture Committee falls in line with similar votes on agriculture legislation, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF vice president of public affairs Dale Moore says votes have historically been partisan on the farm bill and other agriculture issues at the committee level.
Moore: You can go back to the ‘95/’96 farm bill process, you can go back to the ‘94 USDA reorganization process, different steps and different issues along the way, and regardless of who’s in the majority, you see a fairly straight party-line vote with legislation coming out of the committee. The bottom line is, given some of the issues, particularly around the nutrition title, I don’t think it is unexpected.
Clements: Moore says the farm bill is a top priority this year in the U.S. House, and expresses optimism that Congress will come together to pass the legislation.
Moore: I think one need only look at the number assigned to the bill. H.R. 2 has been reserved, and when you consider the speaker’s priorities for this Congress, H.R. 1 was tax reform, H.R. 2 is the farm bill. I know that speaks volumes to where leadership in the House puts the farm bill as one of the important accomplishments they’re looking to get done this year.
Clements: Moore says the House Agriculture Committee’s action paves the way for a timely bill.
Moore: The action by the House Ag Committee gives some extra boost to Chairman Roberts and Senator Stabenow as they put their version of the farm bill together. And we’re doing it at a time of the year where we still have high expectations that they can get a good farm bill done in their respective chambers, get it to conference and get it all finalized if not right before the current farm bill expires, shortly thereafter.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.