This week, the highly publicized farm bill was sent to President Trump’s desk after passing both chambers of Congress, and the Florida delegation is championing the bill because it largely helped shape the measure.
Democrat Darren Soto, praised the bill, highlighting that it will provide $125 million to fighting citrus greening. He also noted that it includes “300 million for the National Animal Health Vaccine Bank that will help the ranchers in Central Florida prepare for potential outbreak of disease” along with “funding for priority conservation programs” and “food assistance programs for Florida families.”
In the House, the legislation passed with a 369-47 vote, which consisted of 182 Republicans and 189 Democrats voting in favor while 44 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted against it. The bill then passed the U.S. Senate with an 87-13 vote with outgoing Senator Nelson voting in favor while Senator Rubio joined 12 other Senate Republicans in voting against the measure.
What the legislation aims to do, estimated to cost more than $850 billion, is set federal policy on agriculture and food for the next five years, and it will cover a range of matters such as food stamps, farm subsidies, crop conversation, bioenergy and support for dairy farmers among other policies.
After the bill was passed, Soto commented that “Florida’s economy, and in particular our district’s economy, relies on the thriving farmers and ranchers in our community. With our constituents in mind, I am proud to have secured these vital provisions in the Farm Bill to support our agricultural industry in Central Florida, while nationally protecting SNAP benefits, supporting strong conservation programs, investing in research, increasing rural economic development, and ensuring families have the nutrition support they need. There was nearly two years of work put into this critical bipartisan legislation. This final bill is a win for farmers and conservationists, as well as Florida’s families.”