O'Halleran Signs Farm Bill Conference Report Ahead of House Vote

December 11, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Tom O’Halleran, a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and a conferee on the Farm Bill Conference Committee, signed the bipartisan, bicameral Farm Bill Conference Report. Once passed by the House of Representatives and Senate and signed into law, this legislation reauthorizes the Farm Bill for five years.

During negotiations, O’Halleran led efforts to protect nutrition programs for children and veterans, invest more money in rural broadband deployment, maintain critical resources for Indian Country, and ensure Arizona forests receive the necessary care to protect homes across the state.

“After months of negotiations and hard work, I am pleased with the resulting Farm Bill Conference Report. We have secured vital funding for programs that our farmers and ranchers, working families, and tribal communities rely on every single day,” said O’Halleran. “The importance of this legislation cannot be overstated.”

Included in the Farm Bill Conference Report are programs and resources that O’Halleran championed, including:

  • An annual $350 million dollar a year grant program for rural broadband deployment;
  • Increased funding for rural hospitals;
  • Nutrition programs;
  • Greater protections for dairy producers;
  • Conservation and forestry programs vital for rural Arizona.

An additional effort led by O’Halleran to allow for the easier exportation of timber from the Four Forest Restoration Initiative area was not included in the final language of the bill. Rather, it will require a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,  for which O’Halleran will continue to work.

“It is unfortunate that Congressional leaders chose to drag their feet and allow this legislation to expire at the expense of our ag producers and the American people,” continued O’Halleran. “Our farmers and ranchers and rural communities are the backbone of rural America’s economy. If we cannot support them, our whole nation suffers. We need a Congress that is focused on the needs of the country, not political gridlock and hyper-partisanship.”

Click here to read the text of the report.