Striking a Deal: Debt ceiling talks and work requirements could speed up Farm Bill debate

The House Rules Committee will soon take up the bipartisan Debt Ceiling Bill.

A vote could come as early as tomorrow if the committee sends it to the full House, but the Bill will face push back from both parties. The final version includes increased work requirements for government programs like SNAP.

Senator Chuck Grassley says the debt ceiling is crucial as lawmakers now have just four months to get a Farm Bill done on time.

“Well, the overall spending of the Farm Bill is directly related to what the top line that comes out of these negotiations. Within these negotiations, if there’s an agreement for more work requirements, it’s going to make it easier for those of us that want work requirements for some of these government programs, that it would override a lot of Democrats saying they don’t want any work requirements at all and make it easier for us to accomplish our goal.”

The Rules Committee meets at 3 PM Eastern today to begin work.

Work requirements were a big talking point during negotiations and the current deal on the table does increase those requirements for SNAP benefits. Former House Ag Committee Chair Colin Peterson spoke recently at the U.S. Meat Export Federation Spring Conference. He said by addressing work requirements during debt ceiling negotiations, it could help speed up the Farm Bill debate.

“The one positive thing, the reason I have brought this up, is they are now dealing with these work requirements in the debt ceiling. I think if that gets handled in the debt ceiling, however they handle it, and people get a chance to vote on it, and take it out of the farm bill, that’s probably the most important thing that could happen to help get the farm bill passed. That these guys would get a chance to vote on, it, beat their chest and all this stuff at the end of the day, it’s not going to happen in the Senate. But you know that that could be a very positive thing if that if this ends up being part of the deal and it sounds like it’s probably going to be.”

Today marks exactly four months until the Farm Bill is due. However, Peterson says a one-year extension of the current bill is likely.