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Farm Bill Passes House

Wednesday, January 29, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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NurseryWASHINGTON, DC - After a delay of two years, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a nearly one trillion dollar five-year compromise Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) with a bipartisan vote of 251-166. 

Finally, a Deal

The Senate and House conferees came to a deal last week on the bill after months of negotiations. Pennsylvania had two members of the conference committee Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) and Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming).

The Senate is expected to pass the bill in short order and the President is expected to sign it.
SNAP Hurdle
Negotiations between the U.S. Senate and House revolved mainly around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that provides food to low income families. Initially there was a $39 billion funding gap between the Senate and House versions. That gap was eventually narrowed to an $8 billion cut in the SNAP program in the final bill.
More recently, negotiations hung up on subsidies for milk producers.
Benefits for the Green Industry
Joe Bischoff of AmericanHort said that the bill contains several important programs for the green industry: "This bill includes significantly more funding for some of the hort industry's most important programs like the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN), Pest and Disease Prevention and Mitigation, Specialty Crop Research Initiatives (SCRI), and Specialty Crop Block Grants."

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