On April 17, the House Agriculture Committee passed its draft farm bill on a 26-20 partisan vote. Only minor Republican amendments were adopted while Democrats railed against the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018’s (H.R. 2) reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Democrats said the bill would not pass the House in its current form, but Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) pledged to deliver a new farm bill on time. The current bill expires September 30.

The ABA and ICBA sent a joint letter to the committee on banking industry priorities. In the letter, the associations thanked the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees for their efforts to craft the 2018 Farm Bill. “Given the sharp reduction in the net farm income of over 50 percent since 2013, a new Farm Bill is vital to the economic viability of our nation’s farmers and ranchers and our rural communities,” the letter states.

Acknowledging that many changes are likely as the bill moves through Congress, ABA and ICBA noted their support for a strong and robust commodities title, protecting and improving the crop insurance program, and enhancements to and greater flexibility for the United States Department of Agriculture's guaranteed farm loan programs. They also urged the committee not to consider any expansion for the Farm Credit System in the bill.

Read the joint letter here.