The Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday passed the massive farm bill by a 20-1 vote and overcame an attempt to tighten subsidy payments to farmers.
The draft farm bill, officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, contains more than 1,000 pages and covers everything from farm subsidies and food stamps to trade and rural development policy. Farmer assistance includes commodity payment programs, as well as subsidized crop insurance.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cast the sole “no” vote, because his amendment to limit subsidy payments wasn’t added to the proposed bill. Grassley wants to tighten the federal payments to focus on family-size farm operations.
Earlier in the panel’s meeting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged that the full Senate will vote on the entire 2018 farm bill before the July 4 recess. McConnell also said he’s “hopeful the House will get to theirs, but it will probably look a little different than ours.”
The House failed to pass a farm bill last month due to an immigration squabble among Republicans.
A House vote soon “would give us a chance to get into conference and actually make a law here,” said McConnell. [Read more at CNBC]