United in a bipartisan embrace, the House sent the status-quo 2018 farm bill to President Trump after a landslide 369-47 vote on Wednesday, with only a few Republicans openly lamenting that the bill will not impose stricter work requirements for SNAP recipients.
In a flourish of political pomp, Sen. Mitch McConnell signed the final draft of the farm bill Monday with a hemp pen, grown and made in Kentucky. It wasn’t accidental. The legislation legalizes the production of industrial hemp, a multipurpose, quick-growing plant that farmers in …
Congress is expected to send President Trump a farm bill this week that makes nieces, nephews and first cousins of farmers eligible for crop subsidies, a setback in the decades-old drive to control farm spending. Farm groups learned of the decision ahead of the formal release of the final version of the bill. House and Senate negotiators signed the so-called conference report on Monday, the first step toward a final vote on the $87 billion-a-year bill.
After months as an ideological flashpoint, a toned-down farm bill is on track for bipartisan passage in Congress this week, shorn of a proposal for stricter SNAP work requirements. Enactment won't end debate over the status-quo legislation. "It can't come soon enough and when it comes, it will not be enough," said president Roger Johnson of the National Farmers Union.
The Senate Agriculture Committee cleared three USDA nominees for a floor vote on Wednesday, but significant Democratic opposition could prevent a confirmation vote this year on Naomi Earp, President Trump’s pick to be the agency’s assistant secretary for civil rights.
With the farm bill potentially days away from congressional approval, House and Senate negotiators are ready to let distant relatives of farmers qualify for crop subsidies, said an ag lobbyist. Agricultural leaders in Congress hope to release details of the 2018 farm bill early this week, which would open the path to a final vote in each chamber in a matter of days.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley feigned shock on Thursday that House and Senate negotiators did not want his farm subsidy reform in the final version of the five-year farm bill. “Surprise, surprise, surprise,” he said scornfully.
With congressional leaders calling the shots on forestry language, and with an incendiary Republican proposal for strict SNAP work requirements apparently off the table, negotiators reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on a farm bill that is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
House and Senate negotiators are considering whether to expand farm subsidies and make cousins, nieces and nephews of farmers eligible for up to $125,000 a year in crop supports, said a handful of budget hawks, environmentalists and small-farm advocates on Monday. House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway "has made this is biggest goal to achieve in the farm bill," said Nan Swift of the National Taxpayers Union.
When he used the power of seniority to claim chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee in the new session of Congress, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley said he wanted greater tax fairness for Americans. Many farm groups share his goal of additional tax relief.