Rep. Comstock Statement on Farm Bill Passage
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock issued the following statement after the Farm Bill passed the House today by a vote of 213 to 211.
"Agriculture is the top industry in the Commonwealth with the total economic impact from agriculture grossing over $100 million dollars of products sold. Thousands of workers in the 10th Congressional District are directly or indirectly employed by agriculture operations including over 4,000 farm operators alone. Every year we visit dozens of farms and conduct a farm tour to learn more about this vital industry in our region. With over 2,000 farms in operations across our district, the passage of the Farm bill today was important for our entire District.
"Our farmers have struggled, and this legislation provides our farmers more certainty and stability as they plan years ahead with their investments and ensures our agricultural sector remains globally competitive. This bill protects crop insurance, continues funding of voluntary, incentive-base conservation programs, strengthens trade promotion of U.S. agriculture exports through consolidation of existing programs into the International Market Development Program, and maintains international food aid programs with strengthened oversight. It helps rural communities by investing in high-need areas including broadband service that is important for the District and combatting the opioid crisis. Other provisions include a new National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program that is designed to protect the health of the nation’s livestock sector, strengthened access to credit and continued Beginning Farmers and Ranchers incentives, improvements to Specialty Crop Block Grants and full funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative.
"This legislation also includes significant welfare reforms to move food stamp recipients from SNAP to the workforce and from poverty to opportunity. The bill requires that work capable adults between the ages of 18 and 59 work at least a 20-hour work week, or participate in a volunteer or training program to advance their work skills. Exemptions are included for the disabled, those caring for children under six, or women who are pregnant.”