Congress Fails to Advance Farm Bill

  • On May 23, 2018
  • ASTA, Farm Bill, House Farm Bill, House Freedom Caucus, US House of Representatives

After two days of debate by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Farm Bill failed to secure enough votes for passage. The bill failed on a party-line vote, 198-213, with several Republicans defecting from leadership and voting ‘no’ on the bill. The House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group comprised of 33 members, threatened to withhold the required votes needed for final passage until a vote could be called on immigration reform, and thus did not deliver the needed amount of Republican votes to pass the Farm Bill.

The next steps for the House Farm Bill are still unclear. Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-1) can call the bill back to the floor for another vote, but timing for that has yet to be determined. It is possible the Senate could release its version of the Farm Bill as early as next week. While there have been no previews of bill text in the upper chamber, it is expected that the Senate’s draft legislation will be more of a status-quo bill than the House’s proposal.