O'Halleran Votes to Pass 2018 Farm Bill
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), member of the House Committee on Agriculture and conferee on the Farm Bill Conference Committee, voted to pass the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes provisions he championed during negotiations.
“Arizona agriculture contributes more than $23 billion to our state’s economy and employs hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women. The Farm Bill is critical to the continued success of our farmers, ranchers, and growers and rural communities across the state,” said O’Halleran after the vote. “After months of negotiations and hard work in both the House and Senate, Congress stepped up and signaled our strong support for rural America by passing this bipartisan Farm Bill.”
Included in the Farm Bill Conference Report are programs and resources that O’Halleran championed, including:
- A $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.
“For decades, the Farm Bill has been a hallmark of bipartisanship in Washington,” continued O’Halleran. “While I am disappointed that this law was allowed to expire before we reauthorized it, I am pleased with the outcome. This is a victory for every community in Arizona.”