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American Shipper

Farm bill fails to pass House

Agriculture committee chairman vows another vote.

   The House on Friday defeated the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 213-198 after conservatives were unable to secure assurances from House leadership for a vote on immigration reform.
   The bill proposes to consolidate several export promotion programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program (FMDCP), Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program and E. (Kika) De La Garza Emerging Markets Program, under a new umbrella known as the International Market Development Program (IMDP).
   Officially termed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, the bill passed the House Agriculture Committee on April 18.
   Democrats have opposed the bill over proposed work requirements for individuals to qualify for food stamps.
   “We may be down, but we are not out,” committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said after the vote. “We will deliver a strong, new farm bill on time as the president of the United States has called on us to do. Our nation’s farmers and ranchers and rural America deserve nothing less.”
   American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer called on the House to continue to work toward passage of a Farm Bill this year, noting, among other things, the legislation’s proposed contributions toward exports.
   “Soybean growers are facing a down farm economy and significant export uncertainty and are relying on a strong farm bill,” Heisdorffer said in a statement Friday. “The House failure to pass a farm bill only adds to the uncertainty across rural America.”

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