Contact: Aaron White
La Crosse – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind called on Congressional Leadership to remain in session and work together to find solutions to outstanding, stalled legislation, such as the 2018 Farm Bill. Rep. Kind also called for long-term solutions to the escalating trade war and NAFTA renegotiations.
“The Congressional Leadership is refusing to do their job. We need a Farm Bill that will put Wisconsin family farmers before big agribusiness, and protect the conservation programs our farmers rely upon. Instead, they’re lavishing subsidies on millionaires and billionaires,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “To add insult to injury, the trade war and low commodity prices are driving family farmers out of business. We need to stay in session and get our work done.”
Farm Bill conference committee Members have been unwilling to compromise on several Titles within the 2018 Farm Bill, resulting in a likely expiration of programs essential to the day-to-day operations of many farmers, workers and ranchers. If the Farm Bill expires without an extension or permanent compromise many programs will be cut, including important conservation, market access and organic title provisions.
A non-extensive list of programs cut or administratively frozen include: Conservation Reserve Program (CRP); Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP); Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP); Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP); Market Access Program (MAP); Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP); Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG); Organic Data Initiative (ODI); Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers (2501); Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP); Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG); Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI); and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).
Rep. Ron Kind met with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer yesterday, and warned him of the adverse impact the Administration’s policies are having on Wisconsin communities. He also discussed the importance of ensuring that NAFTA renegotiations lead to a trilateral deal with both Canada and Mexico, and impressed upon the Ambassador the importance of ensuring Wisconsin’s dairy farmers are not left behind in dairy export pricing negotiations with Canada.
Rep. Kind has introduced bipartisan bills that would take back Congress’ power in the application of tariffs, and require the President to seek approval from Congress before imposing tariffs on the basis of national security. The bills are stalled in committee.