House Passes Farm Bill, Senate Debate Underway

Posted By: Sydni Dobson (deleted) SLMA News,
Last week, the House of Representatives passed HR 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, on a very close vote of 213-211. The legislation includes the Research section of the Timber Innovation Act, clarifies that federal agencies cannot place procurement restrictions on wood products beyond the USDA BioBased/BioPreferred Program, and includes language to repeal the 2015 Waters of the US rule.
On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate has begun debate on its version of the farm bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The Senate's bill contains both the Research and Wood Innovation Grants sections of the Timber Innovation Act and language to clarify that federal agencies cannot place procurement restrictions beyond the USDA BioBased/BioPreferred program on any products. We are monitoring amendments as they are filed in case there are attempts to remove these parts of the Timber Innovation Actor otherwise negatively impact the industry. Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, plans to have the bill passed by the Senate before the July 4th recess. Once the farm bill passes the Senate, a Conference Committee will be scheduled for the House and Senate to work out the differences in their farm bills.