Jul 3, 2018Immigration reform stalls but pesticide bill moves forward
The U.S. House of Representatives wrapped up two weeks of floor action without any results on immigration reform. The National Potato Council (NPC) said that despite great public attention and calls for reform across numerous industries, a compromise bill went down to a large defeat June 27, 121- 301.
In the last hours before the package was brought to a vote, an attempt to deal with agriculture immigration reform was stripped out along with a proposal to require mandatory E-Verify across all industries.
“Mandatory E-Verify by itself is obviously a huge threat to the agriculture industry overall,” said Kam Quarles, NPC vice president of public policy. “However, if a viable agriculture reform package is developed and implemented prior to such interior enforcement measures, it is very possible to solve this problem and generate a major win for the economy.”
On the Senate side, in addition to passing its version of the Farm Bill, the chamber passed the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) by voice vote. This action occurred after the measure was stalled for months, the NPC said, over objections by various senators to the administration’s actions on specific pesticides.
“PRIA is an extremely important bill that sets the public/private partnership funding in registering and reviewing vital pesticides. Without it, EPA does not have the resources to conduct these scientific reviews in a timely manner as the private sector has no mechanism to pay their share. We urge Congress to move forward in sending PRIA to the president’s desk immediately,” said John Keeling, NPC CEO.
The House has already passed its version of PRIA separately and as a provision of their version of the Farm Bill. It remains to be seen how the full reauthorization process will take place, the NPC said, but both bodies have now taken positive action to put this program in place.