With the Senate Farm Bill now finalized, all eyes now turn to the House of Representatives. Photo courtesy of fws.gov.
The TRCP and other leaders in the sportsman-conservation community commended the U.S. Senate for its vote giving final passage to the Farm Bill, the wide-ranging legislation that represents the largest federal investment in agricultural and private lands conservation in the nation.
“Thanks to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Pat Roberts, who forged bipartisan agreement under trying budgetary circumstances, and to Majority Leader Senator Reid and Minority Leader McConnell advancing today’s vote, we are one step closer toward finalizing a new Farm Bill,” said Steve Kline, director of the TRCP Center for Agricultural and Private Lands. “The Senate Farm Bill invokes sportsmen’s values, helps sustain fish and wildlife habitat and makes the conservation title more user friendly and more efficient.”
Notable amendments approved by the Senate include a measure re-linking conservation compliance and crop insurance, which was introduced by Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and passed in a close 52-47 vote. The amendment helps ensure that taxpayer funds support sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices. In addition to the “sodsaver” provision already included in the bill, it will strengthen the farm safety net by focusing crop production on traditionally productive acres.
With the Senate Farm Bill now finalized, all eyes now turn to the House of Representatives, which has yet to release its version of the bill.
“American hunters and anglers,” says Russ Schnitzer, agricultural policy advisor for TRCP partner Trout Unlimited, “must work diligently to ensure that Congress continues to press forward in finalizing the new Farm Bill – and that critical conservation program functions are maintained.”
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