Thursday, September 27, 2018


Agriculture Committee Leaders Hope To Reach Agreement After Midterm Elections 

The House and Senate Farm Bill conference committee leaders have been negotiating for a month but have yet to reach agreement on the final language. Today the leading negotiators openly acknowledged that they're looking to pass a conference report after the midterm elections in November.

The leaders issued a joint statement about their commitment to finish the process. "Each of us is still at the negotiating table, and we remain committed to working together on a farm bill," the four lawmakers said in the statement. "Our conversations are productive, and progress toward an agreement is taking shape. We are going to get this right." Behind the unified statement, however, tensions were simmering over who is to blame for the lack of compromise.

Farm Bill negotiations can be unpredictable but we do still expect the Hemp Farming Act language to be included in the final bill and are still hopeful that the bill will be signed into law before the end of this year. There is pressure to get a Farm Bill done and members will hear from constituents who are not happy about the failure to make a deal. We will keep you updated as we get new information.

Vote Hemp signed a coalition letter to Farm Bill conferees along with AHPA, HIA, NHA and Bluebird Botanicals urging them to support the Hemp Farming Act but also requesting that they remove a last minute amendment which would ban drug felons from working with the crop. We feel strongly that this provision is unfair and counter productive. It ties the hand of states where no such restrictions exist.

The Senate passed a strong bipartisan version of the Farm Bill which included Senator McConnell's Hemp Farming Act language. It is critical that the Conference Committee members hear from you too so that hemp will be included in the final Farm Bill that goes to the presidents desk. Vote Hemp has also been leading an effort to remove a harmful last minute provision that was added banning anyone convicted of a drug felony from growing or processing hemp. We lead a coalition letter that was sent to Farm Bill conferees and others in Congress urging inclusion of the hemp language but requesting removal of the felony ban.

If you haven't written the committee members yet, please take action now!


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