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Government & Politics

Tester Hopeful Senate Will Pass Its Farm Bill After The House Failed Over The Issue of Immigration


U.S. Senator Jon Tester is looking to the Senate to pick up work on the Farm Bill now that the House failed to pass its version. The U.S. House’s bill died last Friday because the GOP majority couldn’t agree on immigration.

Tester said there were flaws in the House bill so he wasn't sad to see it fail.

“Because it had some problems on the agricultural side for family farms and ranches. It had some problems on the nutrition side,” he said.

The term "Farm Bill" is somewhat of a misnomer because it impacts more than  farmers and ranchers. There's also the nutrition component, including what's commonly referred to as "food stamps."   

“So it going away speaks to the dysfunction Washington DC,” said Tester. “But it's not really bad thing if the Senate does her job and gets a bill out of the Senate Ag Committee.”

Tester, who still farms near Big Sandy, is hopeful immigration won't be an issue in the Senate's version of a Farm Bill, saying Senators understand the importance of this legislation. 

“I think there's enough folks who are reality-based that will get a bill out. I hope I'm not giving them too much credit, but I think we'll get a bill out,” Tester said.

He said Montanans told him during a recent listening tour around the state they didn't want major change from the current bill.

The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.