WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Partisan bickering is jeopardizing the well-being of the poorest Tennesseans and the state’s farms.
Every five years, Congress re-writes the Farm Bill – which funds food stamps and provides billions in agricultural subsidies. Lawmakers only have a couple of weeks left to sign off on a new version before all that assistance expires.
It does appear the House and Senate are closing in on an agreement, reaching an agreement in principle.
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said he would have liked to see additional work requirements for food stamps, but he’s glad farmers will at least be able to count on the help they need. "I think it’s a big win for farmers, it’s a big win for rural America," he said of the deal, "unfortunately it’s a loss for the taxpayers. The majority of people I represent strongly support welfare reform."
Another big change for the Bluegrass state – the tentative agreement plants the seed for more industrial hemp.
“I’m excited that it looks like in the Farm Bill, they’re going to declassify [hemp], take it off the D-E-A list," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). "The D.E.A. just can’t figure out what to do with hemp, because they keep treating it the same as marijuana and it’s not marijuana,” he continued, "so I think this is a big step forward."
Congress likely only has enough time to pass one more major piece of legislation before the clock runs out this year. And, it’s a big one: the budget. The big sticking point at the moment, is President Donald Trump’s push to expand the wall along the Mexican border.