House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway would move hundreds of millions of dollars in crop subsidies to cotton growers to the disadvantage of northern farmers, said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, one of the “big four” farm bill negotiators. “It’s not just about SNAP,” …
Two days after farm bill negotiators declared unity in working together on the 2018 farm bill, the House author of the most controversial proposal on the table — stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients — attacked Senate negotiators as weak-willed.
Farm bill negotiators spoke smilingly of comity and compromise while budging not an inch on major issues such as SNAP work requirements on Wednesday during their first, and possibly last, public meeting.
With the support of the Trump administration, the Republican-controlled House wrote welfare reform into the farm bill. Now, GOP leaders say they will call a vote as early as Tuesday in the House for a face-to-face confrontation with the Senate over broader and more rigorous work requirements affecting an estimated 7 million food stamp recipients.
The Senate set up a confrontation with the House over U.S. food and farm policy for the next five years with a 2-to-1 rejection of punitive work requirements for SNAP recipients on Thursday. Senators defeated a proposal for a 25-hour-a-week work requirement for able-bodied adults shortly before passing their bipartisan farm bill, 86-11.
The Senate farm bill will clamp down on payments to so-called managers who live in town and exercise little control over farm operations, announced the leaders of the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday. Still to be resolved was a proposal to make the wealthiest farmers pay more for federally subsidized crop insurance.
Although Congress is weeks or even months away from sending the 2018 farm bill to President Trump for enactment, the end of the road is near for reformers, whose last chance lies in the Senate. The crop insurance industry, a popular target for fiscal hawks and other critics, is asking senators to vote against "amendments that would do significant harm" to the federally subsidized program during debate that could end with Senate passage of the bill this week.
Thanks to speedy action by the Agriculture Committee, the Senate is on track to pass its five-year farm bill before the end of June, boosting the chances that the Republican-controlled Congress will enact the major legislation before election-year tensions stymie work later this year.
Congress can "restore common-sense rules and fiscal integrity" to the farm program by setting a $125,000-per-person limit on farm subsidies, said seven farm advocacy groups in advance of the Senate Agriculture Committee vote today on its farm bill. Rather than give his own opinion, the sponsor of the $125,000 limit told reporters to ask chairman Pat Roberts about the chances it will become part of the bill.