House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R, TX-11) yesterday  introduced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), better known as the “Farm Bill.”

The legislation provides for many similar titles to past bills, including crop insurance, agricultural research funding authorization, trade promotion programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as “food stamps.”

In a press conference Thursday announcing the release, Chairman Conaway said the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the overall cost of the bill over its five-year authorization to be $112 billion less than the previous farm bill, authorized in 2014.

The bill is scheduled for a markup with the House Agriculture Committee next Wednesday, April 18 at 10 a.m.

Notably, the Foreign Market Development program (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP), whose funds are used to support the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and other export organizations, will be combined into one program. The program will be titled the “International Market Development Program” and will be funded fully at current levels.

A new Animal Disease Preparedness and Response program would be established in Conaway’s bill. The program would include a National Animal Health Vaccine Bank for foot and mouth disease and funding for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. The program would receive $250 million in funding for 2019 and $50 million annually from 2020 to 2023.

For a section-by-section summary of the bill, policy highlights and Chairman Conaway’s press release, click here.

 

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