A Tale of Two Farm Bills

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The two farm bills being debated by the House and Senate this month could not be more different.

  • The Senate farm bill has the support of both parties. The House bill does not.
  • The Senate bill maintains anti-hunger assistance programs. The House bill does not – instead it would take food off the tables of 2 million people, including children.
  • The Senate bill preserves funding for voluntary conservation programs and supports organic farmers. The House bill does not, and instead cuts conservation programs by nearly $1 billion.
  • The Senate bill provides new funding to link farmers with local consumers through the Local Agriculture Market Program. The House bill does not.
  • The Senate bill keeps state and local farm and food laws intact. The House bill does not.
  • In particular, the Senate bill preserves local pesticide safety laws to protect schools and playgrounds. The House bill does not.
  • While the Senate bill does not (yet) include farm safety net reforms, the House bill includes new loopholes that would allow farm subsidies to flow to billionaires and farmers’ distant relations.

In light of these differences, it’s easy to understand why the House bill failed last month – and why it should be rejected a second time when the House reconsiders it this week.


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