Farm Bill's Demise a Hit to Rural Broadband

The House of Representatives failed to pass a massive farm bill as Republicans were unable to shore up support from their conservative members. The 641-page bill addresses a range of issues related to agriculture, such as livestock disaster programs, conservation, feral swine, farm loan programs and broadband services in rural areas, just to name a few.

The vote was 198-213. While Republican leaders said they were confident ahead of the vote, it was clear the bill was in jeopardy, and members of leadership could be seen on the floor holding last-minute negotiations, as conservative Republicans sought a promise of a vote on their preferred immigration bill. In the end, the farm bill, a measure with huge implications for low-income families and the agricultural industry, became little more than a bargaining chip in the heated intraparty battle over immigration, President Trump’s core cultural and political issue.

Republican infighting over immigration spills over with farm bill collapse House Farm Bill Collapses Amid Republican Disarray (New York Times) House Farm Bill Fails As Conservatives Revolt Over Immigration (NPR) Farm Bill Goes Down in House (Roll Call)