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Bipartisan Farm Bill?

Posted on July 11, 2018 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

When America seems less divided it's a good thing and recent decisions across the aisle prove worthy. According to the United States Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry,

“Every five years, Congress passes legislation that sets national agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry policy, commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill”.”

This year’s legislation gets both sides to finally look at the whole picture rather than the short term.

Titled the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, it is a bill that improves subsidies and how they are distributed, intent on putting funds where they belong. This is a step toward stopping corruption and false claims while supporting environmental concerns at the same time.

A Pat On The Back

Nowadays, when politicians do their job it seems like something short of a miracle. Nonetheless, credit is due where credit is due as U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, (R-Kan), and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, (D-Mich) hammered out a clear, straightforward enhancement to antiquated policy, which they hope to make a law. These civil servants commented together on bipartisanship that needs to resurface and effectively run Washington again,

“The Senate Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill process is a reminder of how things should work in Washington – listening to the folks back home, working through issues with the other side of the aisle, then writing a good bill. Today marks another important step in the road to getting an on-time Farm Bill enacted into law. We urge our colleagues to support this bill.”

These are the steps that will bring more Eco-friendly practices such as composting, rain and water conservation as well as overall mindfulness into the farming industry.

What it Means

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 covers a range of objectives that looks good for future add-ons. No legislation is ever perfect, however this combined effort is making concerned parties take notice.

Among many considerations, EWG News reports that this bill,

  • Expands a program designed to bring farmers together to tackle pollution problems. This provision will help leverage $1 billion in private funds.
  • Implements important reforms to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), to make long-term commitments to land restoration
  • Directs the Department of Agriculture to make drinking water a bigger priority for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
  • Makes modest reforms to the Conservation Stewardship Program, or CSP, to encourage pollution-absorbing cover crops and crop rotations, and help more farmers transition to organic.
  • Ensures that federal subsidy programs do not discourage farmers from adopting cover crops.
  • Preserves funding for anti-hunger programs.

Bipartisanship Under the Radar

Maybe there is hope in the air after all as this farm bill wasn’t the only temporary win for both sides.

The Hill reported that recently there was a debate in the House of Representatives over the Agriculture and Nutrition Act (H.R. 2) prior to the current Agriculture Improvement Act. The debate revolved around an amendment by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) which proposed repealing energy title programs. Surprisingly, “154 Republicans,  joined 186 Democrats to vote against repeal of the energy title programs.”

This kind of attention to what really matters shows a significant shift in pulling away from special interests. Maybe it is a response to corporations and other conglomerates finally getting on board with rising mainstream Eco-friendly support or maybe our civil servants are doing what we hired them for, serving the people. Maybe both.

 

This time, the Farm Bill teeters on higher up speculation which may topple this bipartisan house of cards before it even gets built. The more that politicians are able to bridge the divide, so will the people. When the people join forces, especially when it comes to the planet, the people win. It's as simple as that.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Eating Well, Politically Green and was tagged with COMPOSTABLE, CONSERVES WATER, Farm Bill, Green farm bill, green politics

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