Improving Odds for the Farm Bill

Improving Odds for the Farm Bill

Jim Young

The Farm Bill has been held up by a dispute over new work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, among other issues. House Republicans passed a bill that includes work requirements for food stamp recipients while the Senate version lacks them, leading to an impasse on the enormous legislative package, which comes up every five years or so. But the win by Democrats this week has improved the chances for the bill to move forward, the Associated Press reports, raising the odds that it can pass during the lame duck session.

Marin Bozic, a farm expert at the University of Minnesota, told the AP that the coming Democratic takeover of the House has changed the dynamics of the debate, and that his recent conversations with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and House Agriculture Committee chair Michael Conaway (R-TX) indicate that the bill will likely pass without the work requirements.

But of course, nothing comes easy in the current political environment, and President Trump has signaled that he may not accept a bill without work requirements. "Everybody wants it, the farmers want it, but the Democrats are not approving the farm bill with work rules," Trump said Wednesday. "We could have it very fast without the work rules, but we want the work rules in and the Democrats just don't want to vote for that. So at some point, they'll have to pay maybe a price."