Republican leaders desperate to push through a partisan farm bill through the House that overhauls the food stamp program are heading off attempts to cut crop insurance or tighten commodity payment limits.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway is struggling to cobble together the votes he needs from GOP colleagues to pass his farm bill while fending off amendments that would roll back the sugar program or cut crop insurance.
House GOP leaders hope to pass a farm bill this week over likely unified Democratic opposition, but Republicans head into the debate divided over critical amendments on sugar policy, crop insurance and other issues.
With a farm bill floor debate looming next week, House members have filed more than half a dozen amendments attacking various aspects of the crop insurance program and others seeking to tighten rules for commodity subsidies and to roll back the sugar program.
Conservative organizations may like the way the House Republican farm bill would overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but they also are preparing to push the full House to end the sugar program and reform crop insurance.
The House Agriculture Committee approved a group of 15 Republican amendments to the panel’s farm bill that would modify a crop insurance restriction while addressing broadband, biotechnology, organic food standards and other issues.