A farm bill that opponents say would harm endangered species, land conservation efforts, small-scale farmers and food-stamp recipients passed the U.S. House of Representatives 213 to 211, with every House Democrat and 20 Republicans voting against it, The Center for Biological Diversity reported.
A similar farm bill failed to pass the House in May when it was caught in the crossfire over immigration reform, but the new bill retains its most controversial provisions.
The bill, officially titled H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, is a major win for the pesticide industry, which spent $43 million on lobbying this Congressional season. It would ax a requirement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assess a pesticide’s impact on endangered species before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves it and relax the Clean Water Act’s provision that anyone releasing pesticides into waterways obtain a permit.
“This farm bill should be called the Extinction Act of 2018,” Center for Biological Diversity Government Affairs Director Brett Hartl said. “If it becomes law, this bill will be remembered for generations as the hammer that drove the final nail into the coffin of some of America’s most vulnerable species.”…