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Tonko, not Faso, named to Farm Bill conference committee

Jul 19, 2018 12:47 pm
Catherine Boudreau at Politico reports that 47 U.S. House members have been named to the conference committee that will work out the major differences between the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill, with only one area representative on the list. Congressperson Paul Tonko, who represents all of Albany County and part of Rensselaer County, was named by Nancy Pelosi to the conference committee. Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) did not get named by Paul Ryan among the Republicans on the committee that will attempt to work out the differences between their versions of H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Faso has championed a proposal in the House version, though not in the Senate version, adding more work requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Tonko disagrees. “I am honored to have the opportunity to bring my voice to the table during negotiations of this essential bill,” said Tonko in a social media post. “As we go to conference with the Senate, I vow to fight against any and every provision that would force kids to go hungry, undermine environmental protections, weaken clean energy opportunities in rural communities, and rip resources from the hands of our farmers. I look forward to advocating for the programs that matter most to our farmers and families across Upstate New York.” The Farm Bill, passed about every four years, funds all sorts of nutrition, agriculture, and research programs. The House version, H.R. 2, passed in June 213-211, with 20 Republicans joining all the House Democrats against the bill. The Senate bill would also, unlike the House version, legalize industrial hemp production, encourage exports to Cuba, extend the flood insurance program, and allow grazing on some conservation lands. Read the full story at Politico.