Shelby, Jones praise Senate passage of 2018 Farm Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill received a conference report on Tuesday, with the United States Senate quickly turning around and passing the bill by a resoundingly bipartisan 87-13 vote the same day.
The bill is expected to be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as early as this week, at which time the bill will go to President Donald Trump’s desk. Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-3) was on the conference committee of House and Senate members that reached a final compromise on the crucial legislation.
The 2018 Farm Bill improves the crop insurance program, helps expand rural broadband initiatives and includes many of the cotton industry’s priorities such as the continuation of the Seed Cotton program. It is also expected to provide some much-needed relief for farmers suffering from ongoing trade wars with China.
Both Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) applauded the bill’s passage in the upper chamber as a win for Alabama farmers and this integral industry for the Yellowhammer State.
In a release, Shelby said, “This bipartisan legislation provides much-needed predictability that will significantly benefit our state’s farmers and the entire agriculture industry.”
“I look forward to the lasting positive impact this bill will have on rural areas throughout Alabama and the nation,” Shelby concluded.
The state’s junior senator also commented in a release.
“This is a Farm Bill for rural Alabama and rural America,” Jones outlined. “I’m proud that the final legislation ensures that our farmers have the support and resources they need to continue to do their important work. It also addresses several urgent issues for our state, particularly the need for expanded rural health care and broadband access. Since I arrived in the Senate in January, I’ve worked closely with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, as well as farmers from across Alabama, to advocate for a strong Farm Bill for all of our rural communities. This bill reflects the priorities we share for a brighter and more secure future for Alabama.”
The bill includes Jones’ first piece of original legislation, the Rural Health Liaison Act, which, according to Jones’ office, “will improve coordination of federal resources and expand health care access for rural Americans” by establishing a rural health liaison at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Agriculture is Alabama’s top revenue producing industry, generating an annual impact of over $70 billion and supporting approximately 580,000 jobs. With over nine million acres of farmland and more than 48,500 farms, the state is a national leader in food production and a global competitor in the poultry, catfish, timber, cotton and livestock industries.
— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) December 11, 2018
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn