Farm Bill Leaders Still Working on Starting Conference Talks

Source: By Jerry Hagstrom, Progressive Farmer • Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mike Allen of Axios, left, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, at Tuesday's Axios "The Hometown Tour" event in Washington. (DTN photo by Jerry Hagstrom)
Mike Allen of Axios, left, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, at Tuesday’s Axios “The Hometown Tour” event in Washington. (DTN photo by Jerry Hagstrom)

WASHINGTON (DTN) — House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, said at a forum Tuesday that the House vote on going to conference with the Senate on the farm bill will be held Wednesday or Monday.

Conaway had earlier said he expected the vote would be Thursday, but at an event sponsored by Axios, he said the date has to be changed because House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., cannot be present on Thursday.

He noted the vote is necessary because the Senate stripped the House language out of the bill numbered H.R. 2 and inserted its own bill. Through the motion, the House will object to that and ask for a conference.

Conaway vigorously defended the House bill’s nutrition title that would impose work requirements on beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and tighten up eligibility requirements.

The Senate bill does not contain those provisions. The Senate bill passed 86 to 11, while the House bill passed 213 to 211 with only Republican votes. Conaway joked that he got twice as many votes as he needed since the bill passed by two votes rather than one.

Conaway said he does not understand why he is getting so much pushback against the SNAP provision that would require beneficiaries to work 20 hours per week. If he brings up the 20-hour work requirement with farmers and ranchers, they say they work three times that much.

|