With the Republican farm bill due to be voted on this week, GOP leaders are making last-ditch efforts to garner enough support for the measure, The Hill reported on Sunday.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway said he thinks he can convince enough of his colleagues to have the votes necessary to pass the bill, despite disagreements over its work requirements for food stamps.
The bill requires all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 59 to be working or participating in a training program for at least 20 hours per week in order to qualify for food stamps. The elderly, disabled and pregnant would be exempt from the requirements.
Some moderate Republicans worry that these requirements are too tough and will prevent one million people from getting food assistance.
The Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump was considering vetoing the farm bill if it doesn’t include the tougher work requirements for those receiving food stamps.
But Conaway said after meeting with Trump that no veto threat was discussed and that the president was supportive of his effort, which could help him convince some of the conservatives who remain skeptical over some elements of the legislation, according to The Hill.
Republicans have also been fighting over the bill’s federal sugar program, which seeks to keep sugar prices high by placing restrictions on sugar imports, controlling how much sugar is produced in the U.S., and offering non-recourse loans to domestic producers.
Some GOP congressmen said such measures will cause an over-reliance on government support and hurt taxpayers, The Daily Signal reported.
"By subsidizing crops, subsidizing the insurance of these crops, we end up with surpluses of one commodity at the expense of a shortage of other crops that should have and could have and would have been planted but weren’t because government masked the signals that market consumers were sending to those producers,” California Rep. Tom McClintock, explained.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has made the bill a top priority, has been organizing listening sessions over the past few weeks as a way to build support for the legislation, according to The Hill.
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