Farm Bill Headed To President's Desk For Signature

Posted on Dec 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Farm Bill and the inclusion of a pro-hemp provision:

December 13, 2018 - “Yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the Farm Bill Conference Report. Now it’s on its way to the president’s desk. The boost this bill delivers couldn’t come soon enough. It’s no secret that these are tough times for farm country. Falling prices and volatile markets make it harder to make ends meet. Net farm income continues to decline. The threat of natural disasters is a constant fear for even the most skilled and prepared farmers.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a Farm Bill update at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Annual Meeting earlier this month. The Farm Bill passed the Senate 87-13 on December 11, 2018.

“Families in my home state of Kentucky are all too familiar with these challenges. Months of heavy rain and severe weather this year have damaged crop yields and increased the burden on producers.  We’re home to more than 75,000 farms. They produce everything from soybeans and poultry to horses and corn. Those families are looking to us for help and stability. And when President Trump signs our Farm Bill into law, more stability is just what they will get.

“I’d like to share some of the bill’s highlights that will support farm families in the Bluegrass State, by way of example. In need of certainty and predictability, this Farm Bill extends a strong commodity safety net and protects crop insurance. It contains policies to encourage future generations of farmers to plant their own roots – particularly important in states like mine with aging agricultural populations. To preserve our land for the future, the legislation promotes conservation programs, outdoor recreation, and upgraded watershed and drinking water infrastructure.

“For our rural communities, it expands broadband deployment and dedicates further resources to combat the opioid epidemic. For hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians faced with food insecurity, the Farm Bill increases funding for emergency programs at food banks. The legislation provides continued funding for ground-breaking agricultural research at universities and research institutions. And for producers looking for markets abroad, it strengthens our trade programs to develop new opportunities for Kentucky around the globe.

“Of course, each of these important victories for Kentucky’s farmers comes in addition to the new opportunities available with the full legalization of industrial hemp, as I’ve discussed extensively here on the floor. So all in all, this legislation is a big win for farmers in Kentucky and across our country. I’m proud to have played a part in delivering that victory. It’s been my privilege to represent Kentucky farmers on the Agriculture Committee every day that I’ve served in the Senate. The multi-year bill we’ve produced is a credit to the leadership of Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow. And now the fruits of their labor are finally on their way to the White House.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to my fellow conferees, especially my colleague from Kentucky, Congressman Jamie Comer. I would also like to thank the Kentucky Farm Bureau, which has been my partner every step of the way. Earlier this month, the KFB announced the beginning of its centennial year. I would be hard pressed to think of a better way to celebrate that 100th birthday than with a new Farm Bill. There’s a reason this bill passed both Houses with overwhelming, bipartisan majorities. There’s a reason this has been a big priority for Congress and the administration. Farming families deserve more stability. Once the president signs this Farm Bill into law, that is precisely what they will have.”