LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Senator Tammy Baldwin is praising the newly proposed farm bill while hesitating to support President Trump’s new trade proposals.
Congress is set to vote on re-authorizing the bill behind farm and nutrition programs across the country.
The farm bill must be passed every five years, but expired last September after gridlock between the U.S. House and Senate. Both passed different versions.
Since then, conference committee negotiations have put together a final bill. It will not including additional work requirements for those on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and would make it legal for farmers to grow hemp and produce CBD oil nationwide.
Baldwin called the farm bill a win for Wisconsin.
“I think Wisconsin farmers are going to be pleased with it,” Baldwin said. “I think also in our state that has been so harmed by the trade war, by retaliatory tariffs against Wisconsin agricultural products, including cheese — there is going to be a lot of other relief that people are looking for in this farm bill.”
The House will take up the bill first, followed by the Senate. President Trump has signaled he would sign the bill.
Senator Baldwin also reacted to a new trade agreement signed by President Trump last week to replace NAFTA. It still needs Congressional approval to be ratified.
The new deal keeps most of the original terms of NAFTA in place, but adds new protections for American auto companies and workers and increases American dairy farmers’ access to Canada’s market.
Baldwin said Congress is still waiting to see the final language. She said lawmakers need firm language there will be enforcement for these promises.
“We need some clear assurances that Canada will stop its trade barriers to certain classes of milk,” Baldwin said. “That Mexico will stand down on its retaliatory tariffs on cheese, and that those export markets for Wisconsin cheesemakers will reopen with Mexico.”
Baldwin also said she wanted to see assurances made in regards to manufacturing. The bill will be released to lawmakers 30 days before a vote.
Leaders from both parties say its future in both chambers is unknown until they see the text of the bill.