In its weekly legislative roundup email in June 8 from its Public Policy team, the National Pest Management Association noted the following:
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Chairman Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Stabenow (D-MI), reached a bipartisan agreement on the Senate’s 2018 Farm Bill (PDF here). The Senate’s Farm Bill does not expand the controversial work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program like the House version has. Unfortunately, the base text of the Senate’s Farm Bill does not include any of our proposed pesticide regulatory reform initiatives.
It is our understanding that anything related to “pesticides” or that would amend FIFRA was likely deemed too controversial to include in the base text. Throughout this process, we have been working hard to build bipartisan support to codify the exclusive role that state lead agencies have as the sole regulators of pesticides in their respective states. We have met with several Republican and Democratic Senators these past months to build this consensus. Last month we sent a letter (PDF here) to Ranking Member Stabenow memorializing our conversation with her and her previous support when she was a State Senator in Michigan. We have also sent individual letters endorsed signed with constituent member logos to Senators Casey, Klobuchar, Donnelly and Smith. We continue to have strong support from Republican members of the Committee. We continue to believe that we do have bipartisan support for this important initiative for the pest management industry.
While it is unfortunate that our regulatory reform initiatives are not in the base text of the Senate’s Farm Bill, there still remains opportunities to include this language via amendment or in Conference. The Senate Agriculture Committee will conduct a mark-up of the Farm Bill on Wednesday, June 13, at 9:30 a.m.; we are working closely with Senators on the Committee in preparation.
What is most important now is that we continue to keep the pressure on Senators on the Agriculture Committee and all members of the U.S. House of Representatives in anticipation of a June 22 vote.