Senator: ‘Preventing and respon-ding to terrorism isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue’
WASHINGTON –– President Donald Trump signed into law a bipartisan bill led by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Commit-tee, and Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, to protect the nation’s agriculture industry by addressing the threat of agro-terrorism and mitigating the risks to food put on tables across the country.
“Preventing and responding to terrorism isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue, and I’m glad that President Trump quickly signed our bipartisan bill into law,” McCaskill said. “Agro-terrorism potentially poses a grave threat to Missouri farmers and ranchers and the food we eat every day. This bill makes sure the Department of Homeland Security is taking the steps they need to prepare for and prevent attacks that could significantly harm our state’s economy and countless families across the country.”
The Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act mandates the Department of Homeland Security do its part to help protect livestock, limit the spread of contagious diseases, and keep food from being contaminated in the event of terrorist attacks and/or natural disasters. The bill unanimously passed the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in March.
This is the third McCaskill-backed bill that President Trump has signed into law. The Follow the Rules Act, which expands whistleblower protections, became law in June, and the GAO Access and Oversight Act, which helps to reduce waste and increase accountability, became law in February.
Missouri is particularly at risk when it comes to agriculture threats. With almost 100,000 farms across the state spanning over 28 million acres, the agriculture industry generates $88.4 billion a year for the state’s economy. The state has the second largest number of farms in the country and is one of the top producers for a number of crops including long grain rice, cotton, soybean, and corn. One in ten Missouri jobs are in the agriculture or forestry industries.
McCaskill is a longtime advocate for farmers and ranchers in Missouri. Earlier this year, McCaskill introduced the bipartisan Sensible Environmental Protection Act with Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho to provide relief to farmers who currently have to seek two separate and duplicative approvals for the use of standard pesticides on their crops. As part of her continued work for Missouri farmers, McCaskill was one of the few Democrats to oppose the Waters of the U.S. rule, saying the Environmental Protection Agency needs to “go back to the drawing board.” Additionally, McCaskill was a leader in the fight to pass the Farm Bill in 2014, and she took bipartisan action against protectionist measures by Russia that are harming Missouri agriculture exports and U.S. job growth. In the summer of 2015, she embarked on a statewide Agriculture Tour where she heard directly from a wide variety of producers, farmers, ranchers, researchers, and other stakeholders in all corners of the state on Missouri’s agriculture needs.