Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee are eying big changes to the Conservation Reserve Program in the upcoming farm bill, though many influential voices question whether the efforts will gain much steam.
House Republican leaders have been struggling to get the votes to move a partisan fiscal 2024 funding bill for USDA and FDA ahead of the long summer recess, raising fresh doubts about how soon lawmakers can start working on the farm bill this fall.
Witnesses at a House Ag hearing on nutrition programs called for a stronger emphasis on health outcomes and improving job opportunities for those receiving food assistance. Committee members, meanwhile, used the hearing to vocalize their positions on potential reforms in the coming farm bill.
Work requirements remain in play in the debt ceiling negotiations between the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. It’s still not clear which program might be affected, but President Biden has once again signaled that he might go along with some changes.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson is leaving the door open to trying to tighten SNAP eligibility rules in the farm bill if Republicans fail to get a debt-limit deal with President Joe Biden to expand the program’s work requirements.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said Wednesday the debate over SNAP work requirements should take place during the farm bill debate, not as an issue for negotiations over the government’s debt ceiling.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will not be cut as part of the farm bill’s reauthorization, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott, D-Ga., vowed at the Agri-Pulse annual Food & Policy Summit Monday.