The “big four” look to next steps for expiring farm bill

Farm bill negotiators are expected to acknowledge today that they will miss the only deadline they have set for themselves: Enactment of the 2018 farm bill by the end of September, now four days away. The "big four" leaders of the talks, who have been loath to discuss a Plan B in hopes of a last-minute miracle of consensus, will meet face to face to discuss the path to farm bill passage.

Farm groups disagree on farm bill checkoff amendment

Thirty-eight farm groups signed on to a letter to the ranking members of the House Agriculture Committee urging them to oppose a farm bill amendment that would more stringently regulate commodity checkoff programs.

White House backs House farm bill as ‘meaningful welfare reform’

With the farm bill facing a test vote in the House today, the Trump administration called the bill "a step toward meaningful welfare reform" with its stricter work requirements for SNAP recipients. "The administration believes that work reforms like those in HR 2 are a critical component of any multi-year farm bill reauthorization," said the White House on Tuesday.

The farm bill expressway slows down in the House

The route to House passage of the farm bill is nothing like the speedy trip that Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway envisioned early this year. Instead of motoring to a floor vote immediately after committee approval of the legislation, Conaway is crawling along in the parliamentary slow lane, trying to round up enough Republican support to pass the most partisan farm bill in years.

Step by step, seeking a bipartisan farm bill in the Senate

Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee said they are working on a bipartisan farm bill, in contrast to the Republican-written bill awaiting a vote in the House, but offered no suggestion on Tuesday as to when it will be ready. A month ago, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts warned Congress must move briskly on a bill this spring or forfeit passage this year.

GOP sees a path out of poverty, but SNAP defenders see a scam

Millions of poor Americans will gain the opportunity for a better way of life if Congress toughens the work requirements for SNAP recipients and offers job training to them, says conservative Texas Rep. Micheal Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. The Republican-controlled panel could approve Conaway's restructuring of the largest U.S. anti-hunger program today, clearing the politically charged bill for an election-year floor vote.

White House embraces work requirements as SNAP debate nears

President Trump put his weight behind new or stronger work requirements for "work-capable people" enrolled in federal welfare programs in an Executive Order released on Tuesday. Trump ordered eight federal departments, including USDA, to see if stronger work rules are needed within the "public assistance programs of their respective agencies." Meanwhile, House Democrats say SNAP faces a radical, and unworkable, overhaul at the hands of Republicans in the name of work requirements and job training.

Leaders of House ag panel appeal for no cuts to farm bill funding

Members of the House Agriculture Committee approved a letter to the chamber's budget writers that asked for full funding of USDA programs, so they can write a strong 2018 farm bill. Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) said he aimed for a committee vote on the bill in March and the lead Democrat on the panel, Collin Peterson (D-MN), said he expected attempts during floor debate to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the bill.