Farm Bill Mark-Up

Hall of the House of Representatives

April 18, 2018

A contentious mark-up of the Farm Bill on Capitol Hill today, as democratic lawmakers blast the changes to the Nutrition Title,
and vow to withhold their votes.

The committee’s top democrat, Collin Peterson, says they were kept in the dark about changes to the SNAP program that includes stricter work requirements for able bodied adults. But he adds those changes are far from the only flaws in the bill -- citing a lengthy list of objections including:

  • no baseline funding for animal disease prevention
  • no baseline funding for the Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program
  • sharp cuts to the Energy Title - including a $500 million cut from the Rural Energy for America Program
  • zero funding for citrus greening research.

But house Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway defends his committee’s stance, arguing that after more than a dozen hearings over the past year,
democrats knew change was in the cards. And while Peterson questions the ability of congress to pass a Farm Bill by the September 30 deadline,
Conaway says extending the current Farm Bill as is, creates problems of its own.

Now Conaway begins the task of rallying enough votes to the pass the bill without democratic support. That means he’ll need the support of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which is waiting to see the final version before deciding on whether to support it.