U.S. Congressman James Comer spoke about hemp, the federal Farm Bill and tariffs at an educational hemp event at Murray State on Friday.
Comer serves on the conference committee that will negotiate the final version of the Farm Bill.
Congress failed to pass the 2018 Farm Bill by the time the previous bill expired on September 30 without an extension. The legislation sets agriculture policy for the next five years and encompasses several programs like crop insurance for farmers and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or ‘SNAP.’
One controversial aspect of the bill involves work requirements for SNAP benefits, which Congressman Comer has said he strongly supports. As NPR has reported, the measure requires millions of Americans who receive government assistance for food to work 20 hours a week or enroll in job training programs in order to keep their benefits. Comer said the U.S. has gone from a “temporary welfare system to a permanent entitlement welfare system.”
He said he believes the 2018 Farm Bill will be taken back up after the midterm elections.“I obviously think we need the work requirements in the Farm Bill, but at the end of the day I’m willing to compromise and I want to get a Farm Bill passed,” he said.
Decriminalizing hemp is also part of the Farm Bill, which Comer said he hopes will be passed by the beginning of December.