December 14, 2018 2:00 PM, EST

Farm Legislation Clears Congress, Moves to Trump’s Desk

Corn harvestingJohn Sommers II for Transport Topics

The U.S. House on Dec. 12 passed a farm policy deal, clearing the five-year measure for President Donald Trump’s signature.

The expansive legislation advanced easily in the chamber by a vote of 369-47. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-Texas) said he anticipates the president will sign the bill into law in the lame-duck session. The 115th Congress adjourns at the end of the month.

In the Senate, Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) noted the legislation’s aim at addressing rural concerns nationwide.

“We have fixed waste, fraud and inefficiencies in our nutrition programs to better protect taxpayer dollars and ensure access to proper nutrition for the neediest among us,” Roberts said. “We fought to protect our rural values and way of life by helping to combat the opioid crisis. And, we improve rural broadband deployment for the farmer in the field and up and down rural main streets too.”

Overall, the bill would reauthorize farm, nutrition, conservation, rural development and agricultural trade programs. It also would legalize hemp production by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, a provision Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) strongly backed.