After House Rejection, Farm Bill Timeline May Stretch Into 2019
In the last farm bill, conservative Republicans demanded the biggest cuts in food stamps in a generation, leading the House to defeat the bill in June 2013. It then took Congress more than six months to put the pieces together. The same outcome is possible now after a revolt by Republican conservatives defeated a new farm bill calling for stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients and looser payment limit rules for farmers. Once again, the delay may stretch into the new year.
House Speaker Paul Ryan preserved a last chance to revive the farm bill this week by requesting a new vote on the legislation. To succeed, and to get the farm bill back on track, he will need the support of the conservatives who voted against the bill on Friday. Under House rules, Ryan’s motion to reconsider the 213-198 rejection of the farm bill expires on Tuesday. The debate schedule for this week does not mention a revote on the farm bill but “additional legislative items are possible.”
“What we’ll end up with is an extension” of the 2014 law, said Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson, the senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. “Our side is not going to live with this work requirement stuff … We’re willing to go back to the drawing board and fix it (the farm bill).” But House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway says SNAP work requirements “absolutely” must be part of the new farm law.
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