Congressman Cleaver Votes In Favor of the 2018 Farm Bill
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II today voted in favor of the Conference Report to accompany H.R. 2, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill. Following months of bipartisan negotiations between House and Senate conferees, Congressman Cleaver was proud to help pass a comprehensive Farm Bill that maintains funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), helps producers weather the current trade war, expands rural broadband infrastructure, and provides more certainty to farmers during a volatile farm economy.
“For over 80 years Democrats and Republicans from the most urban of cities and the most rural of towns have come together to pass a Farm Bill that provides stability to American farmers and a safety net for those who are struggling to put food on the table,” said Congressman Cleaver. “While negotiations were tough, it’s refreshing to see Congress work together in a bipartisan fashion to get something done that will be beneficial to the state and country.”
The bipartisan Farm Bill will reauthorize SNAP through 2023 with no cuts to benefits and no additional work requirements, a key to Congressman Cleaver’s support for the bill. Additionally, through administrative modifications to SNAP, this bill will provide $1 billion in savings that will be reinvested into nutrition assistance programs.
“One of my main concerns with the House version of this year’s Farm Bill has always been the harmful restrictions to the nutrition assistance programs. I am very pleased to say that this bill not only protects SNAP recipients with no cuts to benefits and nobody kicked off the program, but, also, provides $1 billion in savings through administrative adjustments,” said Congressman Cleaver.
Another critical component to the Farm Bill is its protection for American producers as they withstand the harmful trade war. Contained in the bill are provisions that would omit detrimental changes to foreign food aid programs and combine and establish mandatory funding for important programs to promote U.S. agricultural exports. Soybean producers have been affected particularly negatively by the trade issue with China. The Farm Bill fully funds the Foreign Market Development Program and the Market Access Program which helps soybean associations work with the USDA to develop and trade with emerging markets.
“Our farmers have taken a beating over the past year thanks to this nonsensical trade war. I’m happy provisions were included to support American producers while we weather out the current trade storm,” said Congressman Cleaver.
Here are a few other provisions Congressman Cleaver would like to highlight from the 2018 Farm Bill:
- Provides $40M in mandatory funding for scholarships at 1890 land-grant universities
- Strengthens mental health resources within the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
- Provides permanent mandatory funding for the Organic Research and Extension Initiative at $50 million per year by FY23
- Provides $10 million in mandatory funding for research into issues facing urban/indoor ag production
- Provides $185 million in mandatory funding for the Foundation for Future Food and Agriculture Research
On rural development:
- Authorizes $350 million per year for new broadband infrastructure
- Combats the opioid epidemic with authorized funds
- Helps struggling rural hospitals to gain better financial footing
- Creates Dairy Margin Coverage to offer more coverage for lower cost when dairy farmers need it most
- Provides a partial refund or credit for Margin Protection Program premiums paid between 2014-2017
Additionally, pork producers will be relieved to know that the Farm Bill authorizes USDA funds for a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. This will provide for disease surveillance and diagnostic support as well as the ability for states to prepare for any foreign animal disease outbreak.
“The relationship between America’s urban and rural regions is a symbiotic one; we thrive when we work together. I’m proud to support a bipartisan Farm Bill that protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and funds programs critical to our nations agricultural producers.”
Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or Heather.Frierson@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.