What's in the Farm Bill passed by Congress? - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

What's in the Farm Bill passed by Congress?

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WSIL -- A busy day on Capitol Hill Wednesday as the House of Representatives passed a comprehensive Farm Bill. 

After months of negotiation, the bipartisan bill passed the Senate 87-13 Tuesday before the House overwhelmingly voted for concurrence Wednesday afternoon. 

At $867 billion the bill is aimed at providing relief to farmers across the country, many of whom have been hurt by the ongoing trade war with China.

Included in the bill is reauthorization for key safety-net programs for farmers, including federal crop insurance and programs that provide floor prices for certain commodities. 

Southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost was a strong supporter of the bill.

"We got everything that the agriculture side really needed to have," Bost said. "There is a safety-net that is the crop insurance that is vitally important."

The bill expands farm subsidies including opening up some subsidies to relatives of farmers, even if they don't work on the farms.  

It also legalizes the production of hemp, a form of cannabis with lower THC levels than marijuana that can be used in a variety of everyday products. 

In addition, the bill provides funding for farmers markets and local food programs. 

A few provisions from Bost were included in the bill, including one that modernizes the farm service agency's guaranteed loan program.

What the bill doesn't include is certain work requirements Republicans were hoping implement on the food stamps program. 

Bost says passing the bill was a priority, so Republicans will try to address the issue later.

"The biggest thing that was removed was the work requirement in the SNAP program, the food stamp program," Bost said. "But we felt it was vitally important as Republicans to make sure this was moved and moved right away rather than dragging our feet over that issue. We'll have to deal with that issue another day."

The bill now heads to President Donald Trump's desk where he is expected to sign it next week.

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