President Donald Trump won’t stop the farm bill over forestry concerns. An inside source told the Hagstrom Report that he’ll direct Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to use all the tools at his discretion to suppress forest fires. Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the final farm bill should include provisions in the House-passed version that would increase government agencies’ authority to clear forest floors and thin trees.
The White House says it won’t insist on those additions because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to make forestry the defining issue of the new farm bill. The Hagstrom Report was made aware of the White House position hours after the chairs and ranking members from the Senate and House Ag Committees announced an agreement in principle on the new bill.
Several steps still remain before the bill gets to President Trump for his signature. The joint statement from the Ag Committee leaders says they’re committed to getting a new farm bill delivered to America as quickly as possible.