The U.S. House of Representatives passed the long-debated Farm Bill on Jan. 29 by a strong vote of 251 to 166.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will try to bring the bill up on January 30 under “unanimous consent,” limiting debate so a Senate vote can occur as early as possible. However, if there are objections, the Senate vote may be delayed until early in the first week of February.
“SAF is very, very pleased that the House has finally passed the Farm Bill,” says the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Senior Director of Government Relations Lin Schmale. “We have worked with Congress for several years on this bill and its important investments in programs benefiting the specialty crop industry. Passage is a landmark event and we greatly appreciate the bipartisan work that has made it possible.”
In the House vote, 162 Republicans and 89 Democrats voted ‘yes;’ 63 Republicans and 103 Democrats voted ‘no.’ Click here to see how your representative voted.
The Farm Bill, lobbied for aggressively by SAF, AmericanHort and others in the specialty crop industry, contains a significant continued federal investment in programs that benefit floriculture. These include pest and disease prevention and mitigation efforts, block grants to help market floral products, research funding to address priority challenges through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) and the National Clean Plant Network designed to help reduce the incidence and spread of pests and diseases.
For more information on the Farm Bill and other issues that affect the floriculture industry, contact Lin Schmale, [email protected] or 800-336-4743.