Walorski Votes to Send Farm Bill to President’s Desk
Five-Year Farm Bill Provides Critical Protections and Long-Term Certainty to Hoosier Farmers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting for final passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act (H.R. 2), a five-year Farm Bill reauthorization:
“Family farmers are the backbone of America, and their hard work keeps safe, nutritious, and affordable food on our tables. This bipartisan Farm Bill strengthens critical protections for Hoosier farmers, promotes ag exports, and provides certainty so local farm operations can grow and thrive. It also takes steps to improve SNAP so those who fall on hard times can build a bridge out of poverty, and it strengthens the program by allowing the administration to rein in states that abuse the waiver process. While this legislation is not perfect, it will give farmers the long-term certainty they need and help give Hoosiers a better chance to live the American Dream.”
Walorski last year sent a letter to House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway outlining Hoosier priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill based on feedback she received from farmers in the 2nd District. Many of the priorities Walorski advocated were included in the final version of H.R. 2, which passed the House by a vote of 369 to 47. The legislation previously passed the Senate and how heads to the president’s desk for his signature.
- Protect Crop Insurance: The Farm Bill preserves this crucial backstop for farmers and ranchers and strengthens the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) options.
- Reduce Regulatory Hurdles: Unnecessary and duplicative bureaucratic rules put great burdens on farmers and ranchers. The Farm Bill streamlines regulations and reduces red tape.
- Promote Agriculture Exports: Exports are as important as ever for Hoosier farmers at a time of low commodity prices and falling farm incomes. The Farm Bill authorizes funding for vital tools for trade promotion and market development. It also allows the Secretary of Agriculture to provide assistance to farmers affected by unfair foreign trade practices.
- Support Voluntary Conservation Efforts: Indiana is a national leader in voluntary conservation programs, the Farm Bill will allow Hoosiers to continue to innovate and lead with tailored solutions to local issues. H.R. 2 folds the best features of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
- Prepare for Disease Outbreaks: The Farm Bill continues to invest in and improve research, preparedness, mitigation, detection, and response to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), foot and mouth disease (FMD), and other diseases. It establishes the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program, establishes a new U.S.-only vaccine bank, and enhances the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
- Invest in Rural Broadband: Our lives are becoming increasingly digital, and farm operations are no different. Unfortunately, internet speeds in rural America greatly lag behind urban and suburban areas. The Farm Bill will help bridge this gap by investing in rural broadband and requiring USDA to establish forward-looking broadband standards.
- Strengthen SNAP: Congresswoman Walorski worked to comprehensively examine SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, in the 114th Congress when she chaired the Nutrition Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee. Dozens of hearings have shown that SNAP is a crucial part of the safety net, that the program works, and that there are improvements that can be made. The Farm Bill strengthens and streamlines SNAP to better help individuals build a bridge out of poverty.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.