Walorski Votes for 2018 Farm Bill

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Walorski Votes for 2018 Farm Bill

Agriculture and Nutrition Act Protects Crop Insurance, Reduces Regulatory Burdens, Promotes Ag Exports, Strengthens SNAP

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today supported House passage of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act (H.R. 2), also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, which would provide long-term certainty for Hoosier farmers and strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“Farmers are the backbone of America, and we depend on them to keep safe, nutritious, and affordable food on our tables,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “The Farm Bill boosts protections for our family farmers, promotes ag exports, and cuts red tape so local farm operations can grow and thrive. It also strengthens SNAP so people who fall on hard times have a better chance to build a bridge out of poverty and achieve the American Dream. This vital legislation builds on the positive impact tax cuts are having for farmers, businesses, workers, and families across Indiana. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to send final legislation to President Trump for his signature.”

BACKGROUND

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 H.R. 2, which passed the House by a vote of 213 to 211.

  • Protect Crop Insurance: The Agriculture and Nutrition Act 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 2018 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. This legislation 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 Agriculture and Nutrition Act 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 Agriculture and Nutrition Act strengthens and streamlines SNAP and its Employment & Training (E&T) programs 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.

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