Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s statement on the House passing the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 2, also known as the Farm Bill.

“The Farm Bill is critical for hard-working farmers and ranchers in Wyoming. This bill provides the tools and resources necessary to manage market volatility and risks beyond farmers’ and ranchers’ control including adverse weather conditions and natural disasters. The legislation makes important investments in infrastructure by encouraging rural broadband development, expanding good neighbor authority, and improving forest management practices to better prevent devastating wildfires. In addition, the Farm Bill improves the integrity and oversight of SNAP by modifying waivers and exemptions and providing President Trump the ability to strengthen work requirements. I am also pleased that the important reauthorizations and reforms in this bill are budget neutral.

Today’s passage of the five-year farm bill reauthorization is essential to the continuity of programs relied on by farmers and ranchers in Wyoming as they work every day to feed the nation. I’m looking forward to this bill heading to President Trump’s desk for a signature.”

Background:

  • The Farm Bill includes provisions to help combat wildfires such as:
    • A categorical exclusion from NEPA for restoration and hazardous fuels and noxious weeds mitigation in sage-grouse and mule deer habitat. This authority pertains to projects such as protecting, restoring, or improving sagebrush steppe, cutting juniper, pine, conifer trees and other invasive species, burning, cutting, or removing cheat grass, and targeted grazing.
    • A right-of-way authority for vegetation management around utilities. Under this provision, a special-use authorization is granted to manage foliage along transmission lines and natural gas infrastructure to prevent wildfires.
    • Directs the USDA to develop a report on the health of forests through inventorying forests and wildfire occurrences and risks.
  • The Farm Bill maintains the sugar policy relied upon by sugar beet farmers in Wyoming.
  • The Farm Bill expands stewardship contracting under the Good Neighbor Authority to counties and tribes, allowing these entities to conduct critical projects on neighboring national forest or BLM lands.
  • The Farm Bill authorizes additional appropriations to combat insect infestations and disease and reduce hazardous fuels.
  • The Farm Bill creates a sheep production and marketing grant program.
  • The Farm Bill authorizes a new Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine bank to provide protection to rural economies.