June 24, 2018

D.C. Update

Washington Roundup – June 2018
By Lowell Randel, ASAS Public Policy Committee

House Passes Farm Bill
The House of Representatives narrowly passed its version of the Farm Bill on June 21st.  The vote was 213-211, with all Democrats opposing the bill because of the addition of work requirements to nutrition programs.  Republican leadership was successful in maintaining enough Republican support to pass the measure.  Critical to the vote was the House Freedom Caucus, which had opposed the bill earlier in order to force a vote on immigration legislation.  A copy of the bill text and report language can be found at the links below:

House Farm Bill Text

House Farm Bill Report Text

Senate Agriculture Committee Approves its Farm Bill Version
On June 13th, the Senate Agriculture Committee met to consider its version of the Farm Bill.  Unlike the House version, the Senate Farm Bill has bipartisan support and easily passed through the Committee.  

The Senate Bill includes several provisions important for animal science:  

• Reauthorizes the expanded Sec. 1433 program, but no mandatory funding is provided.
• Increases authorization for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network from $15 million to $30 million annually.
• Authorizes the National Animal Disease Preparedness, Response and Recovery Program and the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank.  However, no mandatory funding is provided.
• Authorizes Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative at $30 million per year with equal inclusion of animal genomics.  ASAS was one of over 50 national and state organizations that expressed support to the Senate Agriculture Committee for the equal inclusion of animal genomics in the provision.  
• Provides $200 million in mandatory funding for the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR)

It is expected that the full Senate will consider the Farm Bill during the week of June 25th.  Senate passage would set the stage for conference with the House.

Senate Farm Bill Text