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.
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.
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.