12.20.18

Chairman Roberts: President Signs Farm Bill Into Law

Farmers and Ranchers to Have Predictability and Certainty

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today joined Ranking Member Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), President Trump and others at the White House for a signing ceremony of their historic, bipartisan Farm Bill.

“We began the consideration of this Farm Bill two years ago in Manhattan, Kansas, by listening to producers. We ended up with a bill crafted to address the concerns of all regions and all crops. In a tough economy, the evolutionary, not revolutionary approach of our bill received the most votes of any farm bill in history.

“Our first commitment was to provide farmers and ranchers with certainty and predictability and this is what attracted broad, bipartisan support. I am proud of the members of my Committee who have worked so hard to give rural America the tools to produce the safest and most affordable food and fiber in the world.

“I am glad to have had the support of President Trump and Vice President Pence. They understood how important this bill is to all Americans, but especially to farm country.

On December 11, 2018 the Senate passed the Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 with a vote of 87-13. This is the most votes ever received by a single farm bill. A day later, the House approved the bill 369-47.

The Farm Bill received widespread support from more than 900 agriculture groups throughout the country including the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas State University and many more.

Senator Roberts began working on this Farm Bill nearly two years ago, starting the journey in Manhattan, Kansas, where he and Sen. Stabenow heard from 18 witnesses from Kansas in front of a crowd of more than 700 people. Since then, they held dozens of hearings, listened to more than 90 witnesses and received thousands of public comments they used to develop the Bill.

This is the second Farm Bill Senator Roberts has authored. Roberts is the only Member of Congress to hold the titles of both Senate and House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Ranking Member. As the House Agriculture Committee Chairman during 1995-1997, then Congressman Roberts led the reform of outdated federal farm policies within his “Freedom to Farm” Farm Bill. He also reformed the federal food stamp program, reducing waste, fraud and abuse. His advocacy for farmers and ranchers continued in the Senate as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee since 1997. In 2000, he wrote sweeping reforms to the federal crop insurance program.

From 2011-2012, Senator Roberts served as the Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Since 2015, Roberts has served as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

 

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