Farm Bill Talks Advancing

House Offers Deal, Dropping Some Demands on SNAP

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Proposals were offered to get a farm bill done as lawmakers went on Thanksgiving break. Ideally, Congress will be closer to having a final bill when lawmakers return Nov. 26. (DTN photo illustration)

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., needs to read a joint farm bill offer from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, D-Texas, and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., before commenting on it, a spokeswoman for Roberts said Friday.

"We'll have to read it first, but it's a good sign," Meghan Cline, Roberts' press secretary, said in an email.

Earlier, Politico reported that Conaway and Peterson had come up with a joint offer. A spokeswoman for Conaway confirmed to DTN that an offer had been made to the Senate, but it is unclear if that proposal covered all 12 titles of the legislation.

Peterson said the offer addresses the stiffer work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that are in the House bill but not the Senate bill, and that committee Democrats are "100 percent" behind it, according to the Politico report.

Huffington Post reported Peterson also said the final version of the bill "won't have the new training regime that Republicans wanted to add" to SNAP.

Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee had opposed the House bill over the SNAP work requirements, and the House passed its bill on only Republican votes.

Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., had not agreed to it, Peterson said.

Stabenow's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this week that the farm bill must be done by the end of the year and he had discussed it with President Donald Trump at a White House meeting on the legislative agenda for the rest of the year.

Both houses of Congress have left for the Thanksgiving holiday and will return the week of Nov. 26.

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DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton contributed to this report.

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@njdc.com

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport

(AG/CZ)

Chris Clayton