On Friday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised that the Farm Bill will be passed in an upcoming lame duck session of Congress, the Murray Ledger & Times reports.
McConnell said finishing the unified 2018 Farm Bill was one of his top priorities. While legislators are debating work requirements for food stamps, McConnell said the industrial hemp legalization clause is not in question.
“It will be in there, I guarantee you that.” — Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in the report
The 2014 Farm Bill lapsed on September 30. Lawmakers could not agree on several provisions for its replacement before going into recess for the midterm elections, though existing programs remain funded through December. Congressional leaders promised to reconvene in a lame duck session later this year to continue work on the Farm Bill.
The main disagreement has resulted over a Republican push to add work requirements to the federal food stamp program, SNAP. Industrial hemp seems secure in the bill’s current draft, though some advocates have worried that lawmakers might decide not to approve the new bill in favor of extending the 2014 Farm Bill for three more years.
McConnell’s re-commitment to passing the 2018 Farm Bill — instead of abandoning it in favor of other options for funding farm programs — shows promise for the historic legalization of industrial hemp.