Republicans pushed a farm bill through the House Agriculture Committee on a party-line vote Wednesday after angry Democrats variously criticized the legislation’s food stamp reforms as unjustified, unworkable and unfair to the poor.
Republicans expect to advance a farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday despite Democratic anger over its reforms to food stamps, but the legislation also would make significant changes in policy and funding across many other sections, including conservation, rural development and horticulture.
House Republicans prepare to force their new farm bill through the Agriculture Committee this week in what is likely to be a bitter but potentially brief debate, setting up a likely showdown on the House floor in May.
House Republicans are relying on elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Program and tightened eligibility rules and work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to fund other priorities in the new farm bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Federal wildlife agencies would consult with the Environmental Protection Agency on the effect of pesticides on endangered species in a much different way, if the farm bill introduced by House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, becomes law.
The House Agriculture Committee’s proposed farm bill provides a mix of new restrictions and incentives in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that Republicans say would give beneficiaries’ new dignity by helping them find work or better-paying employment.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway kicked off a battle over the next farm bill by releasing draft legislation that offers producers improvements to major commodity programs at minimal cost, while overhauling conservation policy and making sweeping reforms to nutrition assistance.
The House Agriculture Committee is preparing to debate a Republican farm bill as early as next week, but the legislation’s future on the House floor remains up in the air as Democrats show no signs of backing off their opposition
The Trump administration seeks to calm farmers’ fears about the escalating trade dispute with China, even as corn and soybean growers hope the crisis will at least end the White House’s consideration of intervening in the biofuel credit market.