President Trump on Thursday signed a $867 billion farm bill that will secure more funding for farmers hurt by the trade war with China and tighten rules for food stamp recipients.
Trump called the measure a “bipartisan success” and extended a special thank you to Democratic lawmakers for their role in crafting the bill: “We are ensuring that American agriculture will always feed our families, nourish our communities, power our commerce and inspire our nation.”
Minutes before signing the bill, Trump tweeted a video of himself performing the “Green Acres” theme song at the Emmys years ago.
The bill, which the president says will provide “crop insurance” and emergency funding in “times of disaster,” also calls for “immediate welfare reform.”
“Millions of able-bodied working age adults continue to collect food stamps without working or even looking for work. Our goal is to move these Americans from dependence to independence and into a good paying job and rewarding career,” Trump said before signing the bill.
“Therefore I have directed Secretary [Sonny] Perdue to use his authority under the law to close work requirement loopholes in the food stamp program. Under this new rule, able-bodied adults with without dependents will have to work or look for work in order to receive their food stamps,” Trump continued.
Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to maintain their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 also legalizes the industrial production of hemp, which is part of the cannabis plant.
Functional Remedies CEO Anthony Mazzotti, whose company is the maker of whole-plant, lipid-infused hemp oil products, commended lawmakers for the bill.
“We commend lawmakers for passing the farm bill, which places hemp and hemp-derived products on par with other agricultural products regulated by the USDA. It’s been an injustice that hemp oil, which does not get people ‘high,’ has been wrongly treated in the same way as addictive drugs such as heroin. And now that injustice has been corrected,” he said in a statement.
The farm bill signing comes with the U.S. facing a potential government shutdown; Trump has refused to sign a Senate-passed spending package that does not include the border security funds he’s been after, including money for a wall along the southern border with Mexico.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.