Blue Dog Special Task Force on Rural America Statement on Farm Bill Conference Report
WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the House passed the Farm Bill Conference Report to accompany H.R. 2, Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Under the leadership of longtime member of the Blue Dog Coalition and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-07), Republican and Democratic members came together as the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee to develop a bipartisan Farm Bill. Several members of the Blue Dog Coalition’s Special Task Force on Rural America were conferees for the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee.
In an era that has been stained by hyper partisanship, the Farm Bill Conference Report has been hailed as a bipartisan achievement in both the House and the Senate. The Conference Report addresses several of the issues that were outlined in the Blue Dog Coalition’s A Strong Rural America, an agenda that outlines the path to prosperity and restoring the American Dream in rural communities across the country. Specifically, the Conference Report addresses rural broadband, farm stress and mental health issues, the rural hospital crisis, and greater protections for farmers to weather the reckless trade war with China.
Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Chairman of the Blue Dog Special Task Force on Rural America and incoming Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy, issued the following statement:
“Our farmers and ranchers and rural communities are the backbone of America’s economy. This year, the Blue Dog Coalition’s Special Task Force on Rural America put together an agenda that puts rural America at the forefront of the conversation in Washington. We created a roadmap to success for rural America in the 21st century—one that puts aside partisan games and presents real, commonsense solutions. After months of negotiations, we’re proud to see that our priorities were included in the Farm Bill Conference Report. The importance of this legislation cannot be overstated.”