Congress passes the 2018 Farm Bill

After months of stalemate, Congress has passed the Farm Bill in a rush — the conference committee version of the bill was released on Monday evening, the Senate passed it Tuesday, and the House passed it on Wednesday. Now it’s heading to the President’s desk for signature.

We will provide a detailed analysis in the coming weeks, but here are some of the key takeaways:

  1. Overall, the final Farm Bill looks a lot like the Senate version of the bill.  That means that it is mostly a status quo bill that supports large-scale industrial agriculture, but it’s not as bad as the House version was.
  2. We succeeded in keeping out the King Amendment. Rep. King’s provision would have usurped local and state laws on food and agriculture, mandating a one-size-fits-all approach for environmental standards, labor rights, animal welfare, and community safety. It would have eliminated laws adopted by local communities to address problems like Dicamba pesticide drift, to set standards for food quality and animal welfare (such as cage-free eggs or crate-free veal), and even laws that simply allow consumers to know whether their purchases support their local farming communities.

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