Home / news / Press Releases

Press Releases

Western Caucus Members Applaud Ag. Chairman Conaway's Introduction of 2018 Farm Bill

f t # e
Washington, April 12, 2018 | comments

Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (TX-11), House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01), Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03), Chief Rules Officer Dan Newhouse (WA-04), House GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), members of the Agriculture Committee Roger Marshall (KS-01), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) and Rick Crawford (AR-01) and Caucus members Ron Estes (KS-04), Mike Johnson (LA-04), Kevin Cramer (ND-At Large) and Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) issued the following statements after Chairman Conaway and the House Committee on Agriculture revealed the text of the Farm Bill this afternoon:

House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway stated, “The Farm Bill keeps faith with our nation’s farmers and ranchers through the current agriculture recession by providing certainty and helping producers manage the enormous risks that are inherent in agriculture. The farm bill also remains faithful to the American taxpayer and consumer. Under the farm bill, consumers will continue to enjoy the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world, and taxpayers will reap the more than $112 billion in budget savings projected under the current law.”

Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar stated, “However you've thought about the Farm Bill in the past, at first glance this text appears to include several seriously beneficial changes. In particular, conservative Members of Congress can be relieved that the Committee stuck with its commitment to ensuring that the nutrition program includes more than 35 improvements, including by instituting meaningful work requirements so that heads of households have real incentives to remain productive members of society. But I'm most impressed with the inroads the Committee makes tackling enduring problems related to Endangered Species Act consultation, which routinely requires farmers and foresters to comply with a generous helping of senseless bureaucratic steps that provide no benefit to listed species. From the regulatory standpoint, farmers and forestry win in this package, which means rural America wins as well. Congressman Conaway should be commended for the very tough task of introducing a smarter Farm Bill, and I look forward to reviewing the details with my constituents.”

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop said, “It’s great to see that folks realize the job isn’t done on forest management reform. Millions of acres have been needlessly lost each year because Congress wouldn’t get serious about preventing catastrophic wildfires. With this farm bill, we have an opportunity to take meaningful steps forward in addressing the problems behind severe, uncontrollable wildfires. We look forward to working with the House Agriculture Committee and other Members to ensure that we will not end up having the Schumer fires of 2018 on our hands.”

Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton said, “I am glad to see substantial investment for broadband and forestry reforms included in the recently released text of the Farm Bill. In Colorado’s Third Congressional District, many rural families and businesses still do not have access to the resources they need to prosper. Statewide, wildfires threaten our communities. Targeted investments in broadband and additional tools for the Forest Service will not only ensure that those living in rural areas have more opportunities to succeed, but will also go to great lengths to protect our land and property from dangerous wildfires. I commend Chairman Conway for his good work and I look forward to advancing this legislation in the coming weeks.”

Chief Rules Officer Dan Newhouse stated, “The Farm Bill draft released today shows that the legislation touches on all of the priorities I heard from growers and producers during my Farm Bill tour throughout Central Washington last week, and I commend Chairman Conaway for his hard work. It reauthorizes vital trade and agricultural export promotion programs. Also included in the bill is a boost to the very important research programs by fully funding the Specially Crop Research Initiative and increased funding for Specialty Crop Block Grants, which over the years have proved very beneficial to the state of Washington. I look forward to reviewing the final legislation.”

House GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers stated, “The American farmer is the greatest anti-poverty program the world has ever seen. Farmers are hurting though, and I have three priorities for this Farm Bill: to protect crop insurance, to increase market development abroad through trade and market access programs, and to affirm and fund our commitment to agricultural research, like the great work being done at Washington State University in my district. I’m proud to say that all three of these priorities are reflected in this bill and will continue to support Eastern Washington farmers and the food security they provide our country and the world.”

“This has been a long time coming, and I am thrilled to have this bill released, and for it to be considered by the committee in the near future.  I have heard my producers loud and clear. They want certainty; they want assurance that Washington is still working for them, this bill proves that we are listening,” Congressman Roger Marshall said. 

Congressman Doug LaMalfa stated, “As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, we’ve spent the past three years working in Congress working to advance a strong Farm Bill. Farm policy is not created for the good years, it’s created for the bad ones. California farmers and ranchers have seen a number of difficult years, from a devastating drought, depressed market prices, and unfair trade policies. However, our agriculture community is resilient. This bill today ensures they have the tools they need to weather these difficult years, manage risk, and stay competitive. Importantly, the bill also includes critical infrastructure resources for our rural America, such as new incentives to bring more broadband providers to remote areas – something I’ve worked very hard to secure. I was also happy to see that common sense forestry policies that encourage responsible forest management were included, as well as provisions to strengthen and streamline vital conservation programs,” continued LaMalfa. “From the start, I said this committee’s bill should reflect the priorities of rural America, and now the public can examine the full text of this bill as the discussion moves forward.”

“Producers across America and the 1st District of Arkansas feed and clothe millions here and around the world. With this task comes uncontrollable variables and risks. Today we revealed a new Farm Bill, a step forward in investing in not only our farmers but our nation’s future and food security," said Congressman Rick Crawford

Congressman Ron Estes stated, “I applaud Chairman Conaway and the House Committee on Agriculture for putting forward a Farm Bill which addresses many of the top concerns of Kansans including $1.1 billion for broadband infrastructure, amendments to the Endangered Species Act which will streamline pesticide regulations, and protecting crop insurance for our farmers. I also look forward to building on the improvements made to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program included in the bill.”

“Alleviating the immense pressure put on our agriculture industry by removing unnecessary and duplicative regulations is a top priority. I look forward to carefully reviewing the recently released Farm Bill and to ensuring the priorities of our farmers, ranchers and those in the forestry industry are well represented in these discussions,” said Congressman Mike Johnson

Congressman Kevin Cramer stated, “Our producers deserve to be supported with a strong Farm Bill, and I am pleased to see provisions included that will bring relief to North Dakotans. By fixing the ARC program, and maintaining the crop insurance and livestock forage programs, our agriculture community will benefit from the legislation. I will continue to work with the Agriculture Committee on the bill and am confident it will move swiftly through the full House and Senate.”

“The Farm Bill is essential to ensuring Oklahoma’s farmers have the tools they need to feed our country and the world.  Many of its programs are crucial to maintain and strengthen our country’s agricultural exports, sustain the rare trade surplus for agricultural products, and provide farmers and ranchers credit in trying times. I’m looking forward to working alongside my colleagues on the Agriculture Committee to pass a strong Farm Bill,” concluded Congressman Markwayne Mullin


Background:

Today, the House Committee on Agriculture released the text of the long-anticipated 2018 Farm Bill, H.R. 2 - formally known as the 'Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018'. 

The Congressional Western Caucus is committed to the enduring health and vibrancy of rural America's economy. The Farm Bill is more relevant to rural American, farmers, ranchers and foresters than ever, and the 76 members of the Western Caucus look forward to closely reviewing and discussing the provisions of the 641-page bill. 

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board's breakdown of the policy and politics of the nutrition changes can be found HERE.

House Committee on Agriculture 4.12.18 Announcement Press Release:

Chairman Conaway Introduces the Agriculture and Nutrition Act
2018 Farm Bill will help address the economic challenges facing farmers and ranchers, while making historic investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) introduced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) – critical legislation to address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making historic investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients. Upon introducing the bill in the House, Chairman Conaway said:

“Rural America is hurting. Over the last five years, net farm income has been cut in half. Natural disasters and global markets distorted by predatory trade practices of foreign countries, including high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, have resulted in huge production losses and chronically depressed prices that are today jeopardizing the future of America’s farm and ranch families.

“The farm bill keeps faith with our nation’s farmers and ranchers through the current agriculture recession by providing certainty and helping producers manage the enormous risks that are inherent in agriculture. The farm bill also remains faithful to the American taxpayer and consumer. Under the farm bill, consumers will continue to enjoy the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world, and taxpayers will reap the more than $112 billion in budget savings projected under the current law. 

“Ensuring an affordable food supply is important to every citizen, but it is absolutely critical to the most vulnerable among us who struggle every week to put food on the table. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is reauthorized under the farm bill, is essential to helping many Americans feed themselves and their families.

“The farm bill also keeps faith with these families by not only maintaining SNAP benefits but by offering SNAP beneficiaries a springboard out of poverty to a good paying job, and opportunity for a better way of life for themselves and their families. 

“I’m excited to share our vision with the American people – and eager for people to see the details of a proposal that offers people real hope and promise. 

"I’m also looking forward to quickly moving this farm bill through the House and working with the Senate to deliver a farm bill to the president’s desk that is on time, as the president has asked us to do.” 

CLICK HERE to read the full legislative text of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.

CLICK HERE to read the section-by-section summary of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.

CLICK HERE to read policy highlights in the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.

CLICK HERE for audio of Chairman Conaway's remarks from today's press conference.

For more information on the bill, visit agriculture.house.gov/farmbill
f t # e

Stay Connected

Request my newsletter to stay up to date on the latest news from my office

Office Locations

Request a meeting or find out where you can meet our team
  • Washington, DC Office
    1113 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2701 Fax: (202) 225-3038 Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-6:00pm ET
  • McAlester District Office
    1 E. Choctaw, Suite 175 McAlester, OK 74501 Phone: (918) 423-5951 Fax: (918) 423-1940 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm CT
  • Muskogee District Office
    3109 Azalea Park Dr. Muskogee, OK 74401 Phone: (918) 687-2533 Fax: (918) 686-0128 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm CT
  • Claremore District Office
    200 S. Lynn Riggs Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 Phone: (918) 283-6262 Fax: (918) 923-6451 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm CT
Washington, DC Office
McAlester District Office
Muskogee District Office
Claremore District Office