2018-11-27 National Governors Association

Letter to Congress regarding urgency of passing Farm Bill

Letter from the National Governors Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and National Conference of State Legislatures to congressional leadership regarding the urgency of passing a new Farm Bill before Congress adjourns.

 

Full Text

November 27, 2018

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader

United States Senate

U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-230

Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Paul Ryan

Speaker of the House

United States House of Representatives

U.S. Capitol Building, Room 232

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

The Honorable Chuck Schumer

Minority Leader

United States Senate

U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-224

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Minority Leader

United States House of Representatives

U.S. Capitol Building, Room 204

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan, Leader Schumer and Leader Pelosi:

On behalf of our states’ governors, legislators and departments of agriculture, we strongly urge Congress to prioritize and pass a bipartisan Farm Bill before the end of the year.

Across the country, agriculture and the industries it supports are vital to the health of state economies, contributing about $1 trillion to the GDP and supporting more than 21 million jobs across every state. In addition to providing certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers, the Farm Bill is integral to national security and the economic vitality of communities both large and small.

Without congressional action, farmers and ranchers will operate in an environment of uncertainty as they make business decisions for the coming year. Failure to act would result in cascading negative impacts at a time when production costs often exceed commodity prices. For example, without action from this Congress, the price of dairy is expected to drastically raise the retail cost of milk. The Farm Bill also authorizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides a key benefit to more than 40 million low-income individuals and families in our states. Having a stable and authorized SNAP program is important to those administering benefits across the country.

An extension of the 2014 Farm Bill would be an imperfect solution. Thirty-nine programs are already without baseline funding as of September 30, 2018. While these programs account for only 0.6 percent of projected spending in a 2018 Farm Bill, they are vitally important to the constituencies they serve and would not be continued with an extension of the 2014 Farm Bill.

As you well know, our agricultural economy fuels and feeds the world, while keeping us nourished and prosperous at home. As the 115th Congress finishes its work over the next month and a half, we look forward to working with you to finish this critical legislation.

 

Sincerely,

 

National Governors Association (Scott D. Pattison)

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (Barbara P. Glenn)

National Conference of State Legislatures (William T. Pound)

National Governors Association

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the nonpartisan organization of the nation’s 55 governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, address issues of national and state interest and share innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.
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