IATP statement on the passage of the flawed House Farm Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2018

Contact:               Josh Wise, 952-818-5474, jwise@iatp.org; Ben Lilliston, 612-741-8650, blilliston@iatp.org


IATP statement on the passage of the flawed House Farm Bill

Today, after rejecting the Farm Bill last month, the House of Representatives narrowly voted to pass a disastrous Farm Bill that is an affront to farmers, rural communities, our natural resources, and those struggling with hunger. Fortunately, the Senate has the opportunity to fix the numerous harmful elements in the House Farm Bill. Despite the bill's passage, a dramatic re-set, grounded in economic fairness and sustainability, is needed in U.S. policy, says the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

In a statement, IATP’s Director of Rural Strategies and Climate Change, Ben Lilliston, said:

“The partisan House Farm Bill is remarkably and historically bad in that it would actually make critical challenges facing farmers and rural communities much worse. The bill does absolutely nothing to address problems in agriculture markets, causing a multi-year low price crisis in the farm economy. At the same time, it eliminates the most popular conservation program that supports farmers protecting the water, air, and soil, while building resilience to a changing climate. The House bill will slash rural development programs that are helping to launch new, job-generating rural businesses and cooperatives. It also eliminates essential energy programs that help rural areas transition toward renewable energy. Finally, the House Farm Bill will push more than a million urban and rural households off Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Bad policy comes from bad process. Despite holding numerous field hearings around the country on the Farm Bill, House Agriculture Committee Chair, Michael Conaway (R-TX) decided to largely ignore what he heard, and put together a bill behind closed the doors. The result is a disaster. Though not perfect, the Senate Farm Bill at least maintained the 80 year tradition of creating bipartisan legislation to ensure farmers and eaters remain healthy and vital.”

IATP recently released the report Missing the Mark(et) that shows how the Farm Bill could actually support farmers to transition production to serve markets where demand is outpacing supply. To help inform advocates, the media, and the public about the Farm Bill, IATP has collected over 20 years of Farm Bill analysis in an online portal.

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Based in Minneapolis with offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Germany, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy connects the dots of global justice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.