Tipton Votes to Send Farm Bill to President’s Desk
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted today in favor of H.R. 2, the House-Senate Conference Report to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, otherwise known as the Farm Bill. The House agreed to the report with a bipartisan vote of 369-47.
“The final 2018 Farm Bill maintains and strengthens critical safety nets for U.S. farmers who work to provide healthy, affordable food for families across the country and the world,” said Tipton. “The bill also includes important provisions to protect and restore threatened habitats, help prevent catastrophic wildfires across the West and create more economic opportunities for the Third Congressional District through the production of industrial hemp.”
The final 2018 Farm Bill contains a Tipton-backed provision (H.R. 3543) that will streamline the approval process for vegetation management projects to protect and restore the habitat of sage-grouse and mule deer.
“The current vegetation management process has not allowed Western states to effectively keep up with the rapid growth of invasive species in sagebrush habitat, which has had a detrimental effect on both the sage grouse and mule deer populations,” said Tipton. “The 2018 Farm Bill will remove the bureaucratic red-tape that has prevented land managers from acting quickly in the past.”
The Farm Bill also contains several provisions to help the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) proactively manage National Forests and prevent catastrophic wildfires. The bill will allow the USFS to establish a pilot program for clearing overgrown vegetation around power lines and other utility infrastructure, as well as allow for the removal of trees that have become hazardous fuel due to disease and insect infestation.
Additionally, the bill removes industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, a provision Tipton has fought for as a cosponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 3530).
“Industrial hemp has become an economic driver in the Third District but concerns over the Controlled Substances Act have prevented the crop from reaching its full potential,” Tipton added. “The 2018 Farm Bill will provide hemp farmers with the certainty they need to invest in the crop well into the future.”
The final report also includes Tipton’s bill, the West Fork Fires Station Act (H.R. 4609), which will permit the USFS to transfer 3.61 acres of land to Dolores County, Colorado for the purposes of building a fire station.
Additional information on the 2018 Farm Bill:
- Maintains existing crop insurance program;
- Provides $100 million per year for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative;
- Expands high-speed internet in rural communities by providing new grants that will go to areas in most need;
- Expands eligible land for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP);
- Prioritizes opioid response in rural loan and grant programs
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