Conferees converged Monday to sign the conference report on the 2018 Farm Bill, which will send the new, combined bill before both the House and Senate this lame duck session.
Members from both the House and Senate assigned to the Farm Bill Conference Committee have been working on a final bill for months, and the signing of the conference report could mean passage of the bill this week.
The compromised bill drops stricter work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which was pushed by House Agriculture Committee Republicans, as well as altering farm subsidies and expanding crop supports to extended family members.
Another addition that could be big news for Kansas is the bill’s legalization of the cultivation of industrial hemp, with the United States Department of Agriculture as the overseeing, regulatory agency. Kansas is currently ironing out the details for a pilot program on the crop.
The bill will go before the House first, and is expected to pass. The main hang-up on the bill in committee and on the House floor during the regular session was stricter SNAP requirements.
Even with work requirements removed from the bill, Rep. Roger Marshall is still optimistic about the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Today, I was extremely proud to stand with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and sign the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report,” Marshall said in a statement. “With the signatures from the conferees, the legislation will now be put in front of each chamber for a final vote this week.”
Text of the combined bill is expected to be released Tuesday. Marshall said in the same statement that he is excited for the public to see the work conferees have done.
“This committee has put forth a Farm Bill that will help provide certainty and flexibility to America’s farmers and ranchers,” he said. “I am excited for our work to be made public tomorrow.”