Cramer: Conservation Compliance Mandate Defeated in House
Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer issued an update on farm bill progress in the House of Representatives after successfully fending off an amendment requiring farmers to comply with conservation rules in order to qualify for crop insurance. The Thompson-Fortenberry Amendment would have linked the two provisions together for the first time since 1996. In the time since, crop insurance has become a highly successful safety net for farmers, who continue to express serious concerns with the potential for forced compliance with Natural Resources Conservation Service regulations.
Cramer stood by on the House floor with a coalition of colleagues opposed to the amendment when its two sponsors withdrew it from consideration.
“I am encouraged by the progress made on the farm bill today in the House, and thankful we were able to beat back an amendment which would have only worsened the existing backlog of 1,300 wetland certifications in North Dakota, especially in light of the fact the Senate was unable to make this improvement. My top priority in addition to getting the bill passed is ensuring farmers can continue to access crop insurance without being forced to comply with conservation programs,” said Cramer.
The House Committee on Rules today consolidated the number of amendments to the farm bill from over 200 to 103. Included in the final count is an amendment introduced by Cramer relating to wetlands mitigation. It ensures a producer would be subject to no higher than a 1-for-1 acreage basis when enhancing, restoring or creating wetlands as part of the no net loss wetlands policy.